Needed in Tennessee: An Early Reading Revolution

posted in: General Information

In a November 2011 position paper, the Education Consumers Foundation highlights the lack of progress in boosting literacy rates in Tennessee schools and introduces Direct Instruction as a proven solution. Click here to access this paper along with a host of support materials, including charts highlighting reading proficiency rates in each Tennessee district; directories of resources, trainers, and contacts experienced with DI in Tennessee; and more.

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 kindergarten and 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 equipped and discouraged learners on … Read More

New from ECF: Find out how much reading failures cost your community

posted in: General Information

Students who can’t read by the end of third grade pay a terrible price for the rest of their lives. These poor outcomes cost their community as well – and the Education Consumers Foundation’s new calculator can estimate just how much. Dropouts and unprepared graduates consume disproportionately large amounts of public services for welfare, criminal justice, healthcare and education. Visit our new calculator to see the costs incurred by your community, or see our press release on the … Read More

Value Added Systems Elsewhere

Value Added Systems Elsewhere Value-Added Assessment in Other States Tennessee’s value-added assessment system, TVAAS, is the longest-running in the country. Other states have begun adopting this or similar growth models, and the U.S. Department of Education has increasingly encouraged the use of value-added programs by states to complement their focus on Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). For more information on the growing use of value-added assessment models in other states, and its support at the national level, review the … Read More

Video Introduction to TVAAS

School Performance in Tennessee: The Video Tennessee’s Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) provides important information on school performance to parents and others interested in effective education. To help consumers understand this sophisticated system, and to help them understand how to access and use its School Performance Charts, the Education Consumers Foundation has created a 10-minute video on the subject.

Primer on Testing in Tennessee

Testing in Tennessee: A Primer for Parents Every state has a system for gauging student achievement. In Tennessee, it’s called the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP. The TCAP Achievement Test – a criterion-referenced achievement test given in grades 3-8 – is given once per year in the spring.  It measures student achievement in math, reading/language arts, science, and social studies. The TCAP Achievement Test is a version of McGraw Hill’s Terra Nova examination, customized to Tennessee’s curriculum. The … Read More

Student Projection Reports

One of the best-kept secrets in Tennessee education is the availability of Student Projection Reports. These reports, available to parents and guardians, show how a student has performed on past achievement tests and how he or she can be expected to perform in the future. They can help you determine whether your child is on a path to success, or if you need to seek additional help before it’s too late. Where the Data Comes From The Tennessee Department … Read More

Value Added Achievement Awards

How School Rankings and Awards Validated Data-Driven Improvement Tennessee has gained a substantial measure of reform success because of local and statewide public and policymaker awareness of the objectively measured increases in student achievement produced by local schools. ECF’s school rankings played a key role.  They drew public and educator attention to the otherwise long-ignored TVAAS data and gave public recognition to the schools that were producing superior achievement gains.  For the first time, public attention was drawn … Read More

Value Added Data Analysis

Practical Applications of Value-Added Data in Tennessee Tennessee has the most sophisticated value-added data system in the country; this system called the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) shows how effective local schools are in helping their students to reach their academic potential – to “be all that they can be.” In addition to serving as the basis for Education Consumers Foundation’s Value-Added Achievement Awards and its School Performance Charts, TVAAS data shows the relationships between poverty, level of student achievement, and … Read More

Recommended Reading

Emily Hanford on Why Children aren’t Learning to Read Journalist Emily Hanford explains how teacher training grounded in flawed pedagogical theory has brought about decades of shockingly poor reading outcomes in American public schools.  Her reporting on the subject is the clearest of any observer in 50 years.      Clear Teaching Clear Teaching: With Direct Instruction, Siegfried Engelmann Discovered a Better Way of Teaching Written by veteran journalist Shepard Barbash over a period of 10 years, Clear Teaching is a … Read More

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