The Tennessee Department of Education has set measurable goals for improving the education system at every level and uses data to continually monitor its growth. High-quality data, not ideology, will drive the choices we make at the state level.
The department also strives to expand public access to this information, so many of our measures can be found in public reports posted on our website each year.
Through First to the Top and the department’s new accountability system, Tennessee set out to raise student achievement levels and reduce achievement gaps between groups of students. The department creates reports on achievement and accountability to reflect how schools and districts are doing at meeting these ambitious but attainable goals. The latest district and school designations, including Exemplary Districts and Reward Schools, are available here.
A Report Card reviewing annual results is released each fall.
As a way to track student outcomes, Tennessee conducts the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP, which includes achievement tests in grades 3-8 and End of Course exams in high school. In 2012, three years after the state raised TCAP standards through the Tennessee Diploma Project, Tennessee students made the largest-ever statewide gains on the assessments.
Additionally, Tennessee uses assessment data to measure student growth through the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, or TVAAS. This statistical analysis of student achievement over time also provides insight on “teacher effect” in the classroom.
The Annual Statistical Report, School Health Profile and a number of other annual releases can be found on the reports page.