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Education Consumers Foundation >>Value-Added Achievement Awards


The Value-Added Achievement Awards
and School Performance Charts

  • Value-Added Achievement Awards - Created to recognize and honor the principals of Tennessee's most effective elementary and middle schools. Click here to see the winners of our 2006 program. The 2007 winners and school performance charts will be made public on May 7, 2007 in a ceremony at the State Capitol.
  • School Performance Charts - Newly created from Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) data. Unlike any other school performance reports, these charts are based solely on the school's contribution to student learning, and allow users to compare local schools and districts to minimum standards, to each other, and to the most effective schools in the state. See the 2006 elementary school chart and middle school chart. The bars that deflect upward reflect student achievement gains in excess of Tennessee's minimum standard. Those that deflect downward reflect substandard gains.

For the first time in any state, parents can see which schools are helping students the most. Many states have school-by-school test results; but test score averages primarily reflect outside factors such as the income level of students' families, not school effectiveness. School effectiveness is revealed by annual student achievement gain, and that is what Tennessee's value-added assessment system (called TVAAS) measures.  

The Education Consumers Foundation has converted Tennessee's TVAAS data into interactive School Performance charts - one for middle schools and one for elementary schools. Students attending the high performing schools are getting the most out of their educational opportunities. Students attending the low performing schools are not. For talented and advantaged students, attending a low performing school can lead to difficulties in entering and completing college. For disadvantaged students, it can lead to dropping out.

To see how your child's school is performing, click on the middle or elementary School Performance Chart and follow the instructions.  Extensive information about each school may be accessed through the Tennessee Department of Education's website. Also see below, An Introduction to the Value-Added Achievement Awards and A Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations for more about locating and interpreting the available data.

The School Performance Charts show which schools are best as seen on a level playing field.  The Growth Standard line crossing the chart represents average annual growth in student achievement in 1998. The bars that deflect downward from the Growth Standard line represent schools that are failing to meet the expected minimum. Bars that deflect upward represent schools that are exceeding the minimum standard. The gap between the 1998 Growth Standard and the current state average reflects the progress in annual student achievement gain made by Tennessee schools since 1998. Follow the instructions at the bottom of the chart to highlight individual schools and school systems.

If all Tennessee schools performed at the level of the Value-Added Award Winners, Tennessee would move to the top of national education rankings.

For detailed information, see the links below.

I. About the Value-Added Achievement Awards and TVAAS.

II. About the School Performance Charts
The School Performance Charts are intended to enable parents and the public to see how well local schools are performing relative to each other and to the best schools in the state. They display average student achievement gains in math and reading/language arts--subjects that are essential to the educational progress of all students.

The colored bars on the chart represent average student performance, school by school. Bars that deflect upward from the Growth Standard line represent annual student achievement gains that exceed Tennessee's minimum standards. Bars that deflect downward represent substandard school performance. The colors represent A-F letter grades based on the state grading scale. The Current State Average line shows the progress in annual achievement gain that has been made by Tennessee schools since 1998.

Students attending the high performing schools are getting the most out of their educational opportunities. Students attending the low performing schools are losing ground. For disadvantaged students, attending a low performing school can lead to dropping out.  For advantaged and talented students, attending a low performing school can lead to academic difficulties in entering or completing college.

  • Poverty versus Performance - The Foundation looked at the value-added performance of schools and compared it to the percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch (a widely used indicator of poverty); the scatterplot chart that resulted showed almost no correlation between the two. (Note: PDF File)
  • Performance of High Poverty Schools in Nashville and Memphis (Note: PDF File)
  • High and Low Performing Schools in Urban Areas - The following maps show the highest and lowest performing schools in 4 urban areas. Red dots are "A" schools; Blue dots are "F" schools. A white dot indicates 90% or greater student participation in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Move your cursor across the dot for school names.

III. 2006 Value Added Achievement Awards
In a May 8, 2006 ceremony held at the State Capitol, Commissioner of Education Lana Seivers and Education Consumers Foundation President Dr. J. E. Stone presented awards of $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 to Tennessee's highest performing elementary and middle school principals.

IV. Press Materials
Press releases and supporting documents highlighting the Awards; all materials provided as PDF files.


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