Tennessee Teacher Prep Change Would be First in the Nation

A bill before the 2019 Tennessee General Assembly could lead to dramatic improvements in teaching, learning, and college readiness for Tennessee’s PK-12 students. The bill would require the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) to incentivize Tennessee’s public universities for producing a greater percentage of highly effective new teachers.  It would do so by incorporating the percentage of newly graduated teachers who produce above-average achievement gains into THEC’s Quality Assurance funding program. Although Tennessee’s universities have historically produced many excellent teachers, a decline in quality … Read More

Why Tennessee Won: Tennessee’s Watershed RTTT Reforms and the Race for the Rest

By J.E. Stone, Ed.D. President Education Consumers Foundation April 7, 2010 On March 29, the U.S. Department of Education announced that Tennessee was one of just two states to receive a Race to the Top (RTTT) grant in the first phase of the competition. Within minutes – before reviewers’ scoring notes had even been released – pundits proclaimed that stakeholder buy-in, particularly union buy-in, was the determining factor. Their take and their skepticism were not unwarranted. In our … Read More

Needed in Tennessee: An Early Reading Revolution

Reading instruction that is effective with 90% of students has been available for 40 years but is not widely taught in schools of education–a very unfortunate but not atypical case of institutional inertia.  Known effective practices often take decades to become widely adopted.  For example, it took nearly 50 years for the British Navy to provision ships with limes despite massive losses of sailors to scurvy and the availability of a known cure!  Read more here

The What & the Why of Tennessee’s Success

  Tennessee Schools Recognized for Fastest Gains Among the States – But Why? November 2013, the US Department of Education released the latest results from its National Assessment of Education Progress (i.e. “The Nation’s Report Card”) and revealed that Tennessee was the only state to post improvements in both math and reading at both fourth and eighth grades, adding a total of 22 points across the four assessments to their scores. This was, in fact, the largest gain among the … Read More

Tennessee’s Value Added Assessment: Why It’s Important and How It Works

Value added assessment of school performance is a breakthrough in the measurement of educational performance.  It tells users how much students’ gained in achievement in the just-completed year relative to their past rate of educational progress–irrespective of starting level and the various social, economic, ethnic, and other factors thought to limit or enhance student learning.  Value-added scores, however, are limited to grades 4 through 8, i.e., grades in which there is standardized testing in the same subjects. Read … Read More

School Ranking Charts

Tennessee was the first state to systematically gather and disseminate district and school-level value-added data in 1995.  It was and is the most statistically sophisticated methodology in use.  The Education Consumers Foundation was the first to compile Tennessee’s TVAAS scores into online, interactive and printable graphics that allow users to see schools statewide ranked on the basis of their effectiveness in lifting student achievement.  Since that time, numerous states and school districts have adopted what is essentially the same … Read More

3rd Grade Reading Proficiency Charts

Are Tennessee’s Children Learning to Read? Reading is the most essential skill that children learn in school. It is taught over a 4-5 year period that begins in preschool or kindergartenand extends to 3rd grade. Beyond 3rd grade, schooling turns from learning to read, to reading to learn. Promoting children to the 4th and subsequent grades without sound reading skills not only reduces their chances of success, it misleads their parents about the child’s progress, it unloads poorly … Read More

School Performance in Tennessee

Tennessee: Comparing schools and districts based on student proficiency   The information below reflects the most recent data available to us; please contact us with questions or to request additional analyses. Analysis: Comparing schools and districts on third grade proficiency in reading and math The charts linked below allow you to compare schools and districts in Tennessee with their peers. The Y (vertical) axis shows the percentage of proficient 3rd graders in a subject; the X (horizontal) axis … Read More

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