Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System
The Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) measures the impact schools and teachers have on their students’ academic progress. TVAAS measures student growth, not whether the student is proficient on the state assessment. TVAAS helps educators identify best practices and implement programs that best meet the needs of their students, as well as make informed decisions about where to focus resources to ensure growth opportunities for all students.
Under Tennessee’s teacher evaluation legislation, value-added scores count for a portion of teachers’ overall evaluation scores. For teachers who receive an individual growth score (often referred to as teachers in “tested grades and subjects”), value-added scores count for 35 percent of the final evaluation score. For teachers who do not receive an individual growth score (teachers in “non-tested grades and subjects”), the school’s value-added score counts as 25 percent of the overall evaluation score.
Value-added reports are available on two sites:
- TVAAS Restricted-Access Site provides reports for teachers, principals and administrators.
- TVAAS Public Site provides school and district level reports for parents and the public.
Both sites provide detail on value-added methodology, descriptions of each report, instructions on how to compare the performance of different schools and systems, and in-depth learning tutorials.
1. TVAAS measures student growth, not whether the student is proficient on the state assessment.
For example, a student who is behind academically may show significant academic growth but not be proficient on the end of year test. Another student may also not be proficient on the end of year test, but not show any growth. The teacher added a lot of value to the first student’s academic development (and increased their likelihood of being proficient in 6th grade), and little value to the second student’s academic development. TVAAS allows educators to consider their students’ achievement (their score on the end of year assessment), as well as their growth (the progress students make year to year).
2. Low-achieving students can grow, and their teachers can earn strong TVAAS scores.
When students grow more than expected, that growth is reflected in a teacher’s TVAAS score – regardless of whether the student earned below basic, basic, proficient or advanced on the state assessment. For example, Lucie E. Campbell Elementary, Georgian Hills Elementary, and Treadwell Elementary in Memphis had low achievement scores based on the TCAP, but had very high TVAAS scores.
3. High-achieving students can grow and their teachers can earn strong TVAAS scores.
Just as children grow in height each year, they also grow in academic ability. If a second grader is tall in relation to her peers, she will need to continue to grow each year to be tall relative to her peers in fifth grade. A tall second grader who does not continue to grow will soon be a short fifth grader. Likewise, our highest performing students still have room to grow academically and their teachers can still earn high TVAAS scores. Even students who consistently earn advanced scores can demonstrate growth. For example, in 2013 Williamson County had the highest achievement in the state based on the TCAP. Williamson County teachers also had some of the highest TVAAS scores in the state.
In addition to the value-added reports on the two TVAAS sites, there are a number of resources to support educators and the public in better understanding TVAAS.
- Three Facts about TVAAS
- Misconceptions about value-added reporting in Tennessee
- Stories from Tennessee teachers on how TVAAS impacts their instruction
- Algebra I teachers in Kingsport City
- A high school English teacher in Weakley County
- An eighth grade science teacher in Johnson City
- The University of Wisconsin’s explanation of value-added measures through a video analogy
For Educators (all resources listed below are free)
Online courses on value-added measures through the Battelle for Kids portal
- To access the courses, you'll first need to create an account. Request your school access code from your principal and create your own account from the Battelle for Kids login page.
- After you log in, click on the “My Learning” link. From here you can select the course or learning path you wish to enroll in. Helpful courses on TVAAS include:
- MG1140: Interpreting Teacher-Level Value-Added Reports
- VA1020: Progress and Achievement
- MG1130: Interpreting Individual Student Reports