In Tennessee and a few other states, teacher effectiveness can be assessed on the basis of the student achievement gains of their students. Although there are exceptions like the reports that were undertaken by the Los Angeles Times, value added performance data for individual teachers is rarely available to the public. Even aggregate data, however, is of value in assessing the quality and diligence of personnel management and oversight in schools and districts. As can be seen in these comparisons of Tennessee school districts, there are substantial differences between districts as to the proportion of highly effective and ineffective teachers. Ideally, a district would have a very small percentage of teachers in the “Least Effective” category.
In some districts, the vast majority of teachers in grades 4-8 lift the achievement of their students by a year or more every school year. Their directors of schools and their boards deserve great credit for thoughtful oversight.
Unfortunately, other districts have a high percentage of teachers whose students regularly gain well less than a year’s worth of progress. The result can be that too many students unnecessarily become dropouts or graduates who are not prepared for college.
A district with great teachers is no accident. It reflects sound decision-making by a conscientious school director and board of education.
See district-level results for Tennessee below:
Source: District-level distributions of TVAAS Teacher Evaluation Composite Scores, 2012-2013; Tennessee Department of Education