Pandemic-related disruptions led to academic decline in Moore County and statewide

On Monday, the State Department of Education released the 2020-21 Spring Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) state-level results and the results were as expected. All students, including those in Moore County, struggled last year due to COVID-19. Exact local scores were not yet available. (File Photo)

STATE EDUCATION NEWS — Did you feel as if your school-aged child endured a disrupted, difficult school year in 2020 due to COVID-19 and struggled academically because of it? You aren’t alone. The Tennessee Department of Education released the 2020-21 Spring Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) state-level results on Monday.  And well, the news is not great.

These results include exams in English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science and social studies. As expected, state-level test results from the 2020-21 Spring TCAP assessments show that pandemic-related disruptions to education led to declines in student academic proficiency in the state, across all subjects and grade bands, as expected. Overall more Tennessee student test below grade level than the previous year across all grade levels.

Moore County was one of nearly 100 school districts in the state designated as Advancing. There are four district accountability categories: Exemplary, Advancing, Satisfactory, or In Need of Improvements. Unfortunately, specific school district information has been embargoed until August 11 so exact Moore County ranking are not yet available to the press.

Moore County Director of Schools Chad Moorehead who does have access to that data did confirm that Moore County students suffered the same fate as other students throughout Tennessee but was quick to point out that his staff would do everything needed to help students earn back gains.

“Due to the unprecedented school years that we have experienced in the past two years, we have known that our student scores on state mandated testing would suffer” Director Moorehead said. “Our teachers and staff will be assessing the data as it is released to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of each and every student.  This recovery process will be intensive and lengthy.  I am extremely confident that our staff will work very hard for our students.”


During the January 2021 Special Legislative Session, Public Chapter 2 removed negative consequences associated with accountability for districts and schools whose district-wide TCAP participation rate was 80 percent or higher. On Tuesday, July 27, the department shared that 100 percent of districts met the 80 percent participation rate, with 80 percent of districts having met the federal 95 percent participation rate. More than two million TCAP tests were administered this year to approximately 750,000 students, providing families and schools systems access to information that will help drive strategic decision-making for students. 

“These results show that COVID-19 has disrupted learning in every school district in Tennessee,” said Governor Bill Lee. “We’re grateful to the dedication of our educators and districts who worked to mitigate this loss over the past year, and we’re committed to implementing long-term strategies and investments to get our students back on track.”   

We’ll follow up with specific Moore County data once it’s available. Stay tuned. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}