Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System

Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System

The Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) measures student growth year over year, regardless of whether the student is proficient on the state assessment. In calculating a TVAAS score, a student’s performance is compared relative to the performance of his or her peers who have performed similarly on past assessments.

Because students’ performance is compared to that of their peers, and because their peers are moving through the same standards and assessment transitions at the same time, any drops in proficiency during these transitions have no impact on the ability of teachers, schools, and districts to earn strong TVAAS scores. Transitions to higher standards and expectations do not change the fact that we still want students to make a full year’s worth of growth, relative to their peers who are all experiencing the same transition.

Growth scores should be used alongside achievement scores from TNReady to show the fuller picture of students’ performance. For the 2016-17 school year, TVAAS results remained stable and consistent through the transition to TNReady. Additionally, 55 school districts, more than a third of Tennessee’s districts, earned overall TVAAS composites of Level 5, the highest level of growth. Notably, this includes districts with a wide range of academic achievement and student demographics. And, in 2016-17, fewer districts earned Level 1 and Level 2 scores, showing that more districts have students who are growing at or above the expected amount. These results point to the ability for all students to grow.

However, these results also underscore the urgent and important work we have in front of us as we transition to more rigorous standards that ultimately ensure postsecondary and workforce readiness. In particular, while we see some bright spots in growth in both the Achievement School District and iZones in Shelby and Knox Counties, we did not meet expected growth in the vast majority of our Priority schools being served through both state and district interventions. The department is engaged in further analysis of these results as we collectively take critical next steps.

To learn more about TVAAS or review specific scores, please see the related resources. Additionally, the public TVAAS site with more detailed TVAAS reporting will be updated with 2016-17 TVAAS data in October.

Access TVAAS Reports

  • TVAAS Public Site provides school and district level reports for parents and the public.
  • TVAAS Educator Site (login required) provides reports for teachers, principals and administrators.

Both sites provide detail on value-added methodology, descriptions of each report, and instructions on how to compare the performance of different schools and systems.

How TVAAS Works

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, Treadwell Middle School in Memphis had low entering achievement in middle school math (students performed in the 33rd percentile compared to their peers across the state), yet they were among the top 20% of schools in the state on growth in 7th and 8th grade math in 2013-14.

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, Ravenwood High School in Williamson County had among the highest entering achievement in the state among their Chemistry I students. They also had strong growth, and made substantially more progress than the state average in Chemistry in 2013-14.

Download Three Facts about TVAAS.

For Everyone

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.

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