2012 School Accountability
In accordance with Tennessee’s accountability system, designed through the state’s waiver from No Child Left Behind, the Tennessee Department of Education names Reward, Priority and Focus schools.
Reward Schools are the top 5 percent of schools in the state for performance—as measured by overall student achievement levels—and the top 5 percent for year-over-year progress—as measured by schoolwide value-added data. These 10 percent of schools receive recognition for their success under the accountability system.
Priority Schools are the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools in Tennessee, in terms of academic achievement. These schools are eligible for inclusion in the Achievement School District or in district Innovation Zones. They may also plan and adopt turnaround models for school improvement.
In general, Focus Schools are the 10 percent of schools in the state with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students, such as racial and ethnic groups, students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, students with disabilities and English-language learners. More specifically, schools are designated as Focus Schools in one of three ways:
- Gap Pathway: The school has one of the largest gaps in the State for the indicated subgroup.
- Subgroup Pathway: The school has a composite proficiency rate below 5 percent for the indicated subgroup.
- Graduation Rate Pathway: The school has a graduation rate below 60 percent.