Andrew Jackson Elementary School sees jump in test scores

JACKSON, Tenn. — Andrew Jackson Elementary School students are improving their math skills exponentially.

Just last year, students like some of Leana Greene’s kindergartners, were ranked a one out of five on state tests.

“They don’t have a solid foundation in numeracy,” Greene said. “They don’t really grasp the concepts of math. Most of them don’t even understand what a number means or what it is.”

But now their scores have jumped to a four, blowing away their expectations.

“We help them to understand the foundations of numeracy, then they build on that through our curriculum and the way it’s implemented, and through the strategies that we teach to the students,” she said.

Leaders at Andrew Jackson attribute a lot of the success to making the lessons hands-on, like in one of the fourth grade class’s math lessons.

“One of our strategies this year, we use blocks, pennies, white boards and markers. It really helps the kids take what they’re seeing and what I’m teaching up front in the classroom and putting it on paper or a whiteboard,” Greene said.

The teachers say their curriculum allows them to be creative and teach the kids to understand the concepts, not just memorize them.

“We’re not just teaching them math facts anymore,” Greene said. “We’re teaching them why we do math. We’re teaching them how math works. We’re helping them to understand the building blocks of math.”

Then, they’re building this into better scores for the whole district.

Greene also attributed the rising rising score to the focus of school leaders and how they are working with the teachers to better the schools.

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