Nashville, Tennessee, also known as Music City, U.S.A. is a wonderfully vibrant city. Whether you’re currently a resident of Nashville or considering a move, you may be interested in their educational system. In such a large city, there are numerous highly-rated schools, but there are also many schools where students are falling behind. Some of the worst schools in Nashville have students with below-average proficiency in core subjects.
The numbers behind a school certainly don’t tell the whole story of what students are capable of, but school ratings and test scores are something for parents to consider. The list below of the worst schools in Nashville is based on test scores, overall academic progress, and graduation rates. Many of the schools below were on the Tennessee Department of Education’s list of the lowest-performing schools in the state.
No matter what type of school you’re looking for, it’s essential to consider several factors, including how well students are performing. Keep reading to find out more about some of the lowest-performing schools in Nashville.
Jones Paideia Elementary
1800 9th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208
Jones Elementary is a public magnet school in Nashville with about 291 students. This elementary school aims to foster critical and creative thinking in every student and empower them to reach their highest potential. They accomplish this through the use of Socratic Seminars, intellectual coaching, and a focus on mastery.
When it comes to test scores and the proficiency of students at Jones Paideia, the students are falling far behind the state average. While the state average for proficiency in science, English, and math is over 30%, only 7% of students at Jones Elementary are proficient in science, 9% are proficient in English, and 5% are proficient in math.
Tom Joy Elementary
2201 Jones Ave, Nashville, TN 37207
Tom Joy Elementary is a public elementary school in Nashville, TN. This school serves 411 students in PK-5th grade. Tom Joy Elementary is considered a digital literacy and leadership magnet school. Their academic program focuses on technology and innovation so that students can build the skills they need to live in a digital world.
Despite the focus on these important skills, students at Tom Joy Elementary are falling behind their peers at other schools. This school was listed as one of the lowest-performing schools in the state based on their test scores and overall proficiency. Only 7% of students at Tom Joy Elementary are proficient in science and 5% are proficient in English.
Ida B. Wells Elementary
244 Foster Street, Nashville, TN, 37207
Ida B. Wells Elementary School is a public elementary school with 268 students. Part of their vision is to become a model school of excellence where students can become college and career ready as well as lifelong learners. Their core values include respect and responsibility, and they strive to create a learning environment for students that is engaging and encouraging.
The test scores at Ida B. Wells Elementary show that students are far behind other students in the state. Only 8% of students at this school are proficient in math, English, and science. However, when it comes to academic progress, their ratings have shown that students are starting low but making average progress to keep up with their peers.
Bellshire Elementary Design Center
1128 Bell Grimes Lane, Nashville, TN, 37207
Bellshire Elementary Design Center is a part of Metro-Nashville Public Schools and serves almost 350 students. This school has a focus on academic rigor, high expectations, and positive relationships. One of their goals is to support each student to help them reach their full potential and develop a love for learning.
Their academic program includes art, music, and world language courses. However, only 7% of students at this school are proficient in English. Students at Bellshire Elementary are making fewer gains from year to year compared to other students in their grade. Additionally, only about 5% of students are proficient in math.
Apollo Middle School
631 Richards Rd, Antioch, TN 37013
Apollo Middle School is a public school in the Nashville area with 722 students in grades 5-8. This middle school is known for being inclusive and diverse. They also include arts programs and SEL integration into their academic programs. Apollo Middle School has an active AVID program meant to encourage students to go to college and prepare them for the future.
Although one of the goals of Apollo Middle School is to prepare students for higher education, their students are still falling behind compared to their peers. Less than 7% of students are proficient in all the core subjects including English, science, social studies, and math. Only 8% of students take Algebra 1, but they do have a 100% pass rate for those who participate in this honors course. As far as academic progress, students at Apollo Middle are struggling to keep on, but they’re making average progress from year to year to catch up with other students.
5050 Blue Hole Rd, Antioch, TN 37013
Antioch Middle School is a public middle school in the Metro-Nashville School District. At this school, the staff aims to challenge students to learn, write, collaborate, and read. Antioch Middle School is AVID certified. This program is meant to encourage and prepare students to attend college in the future. They offer honors and gifted courses for students who are ready to be challenged and support for students who have specific learning needs.
As far as test scores for this middle school, the proficiency levels fall below the state average for all subjects. Only 13% of students are proficient in social studies, 8% are proficient in English and science, and 5% are proficient in math.
Wright Middle School
180 McCall St, Nashville, TN 37211
Wright Middle School is a public school in Nashville with 744 students. This middle school has a diverse community with students from various countries that represent over 20 different languages. During a typical day at Wright Middle School, students have numerous opportunities to connect with teachers and peers as well as reflect on their social-emotional well-being. The program at Wright Middle School includes options for advanced classes and extracurricular activities.
The test scores for Wright Middle School show that students are falling behind their peers at other schools. Less than 8% of students are proficient in English, science, social studies, and math. However, when it comes to Integrated Math 1, the proficiency rate is higher than the state average with 35% of students showing proficiency.
Glencliff Comp High School
160 Antioch Pike, Nashville, TN, 37211
Glencliff Comp High School is a public high school in Metro-Nashville Public Schools that has 1,106 students. This school has a diverse community of students and represents 37 different nationalities with 27 different languages. At Glencliff Comp High School, students can choose from four different academies to focus their education to prepare for their future. The academic program focuses on college and career skills for students.
The test scores for students at Glencliff Comp High School are low compared to the state averages, and they also fall below the state average for college readiness. The graduation rate is 61%, which is lower than the state average of 88%. Although they do have a relatively high ACT participation rate, only 42% of students at this school are pursuing higher education or a vocational program after graduation.
Pearl Cohn Magnet High School
904 26th Avenue North, Nashville, TN, 37208
Pearl Cohn Magnet High School is a public magnet school in Nashville. They serve a student population of 652 with students in grades 9-12. The core values of this school include professionalism, respect, investment, dignity, and endurance. They aim to use evidence-based educational practices and data-centered decision-making to ensure students receive the highest quality education.
The graduation rate at Pearl Cohn High School is 80%, just shy of the state average of 88%. However, when it comes to proficiency in core subjects, students are still falling behind. Only 10% of students are proficient in English 2, 5% are proficient in English 1, and only 5% are proficient in US History. Additionally, 51% of students are pursuing an in-state college or a vocational program.
Nashville State Community College
120 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37209
Nashville State Community College is a public college in Nashville with about 6,647 students. This two-year community college offers undergraduate programs for students in the Nashville area and the cost of tuition for in-state students is $4,104. For out-of-state students, the cost goes up to $16,920.
Like most community colleges, Nashville State Community College has open admission, but this school has made the worst schools list due to its graduation rate and average salary of graduates. With an 11.4% graduation rate, it has one of the lowest rates out of all the colleges in the state. Additionally, the average salary for students 10 years after graduating is only $33,800.
Finding the Right School for Your Child in Nashville
Choosing the right school for your child can be a challenge, no matter how old they are. Whether you’re looking for an elementary, middle, or high school, it’s important to pay attention to how students are performing at the schools you’re considering.
High schools and colleges especially are meant to prepare students for the future, but their graduation rates can say a lot about what they’re doing to prepare students for a future career. Students at some of the worst schools in Nashville are falling behind their peers in other Tennessee schools.
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