Tennessee First to the Top


Tennessee will utilize its Race to the Top funds to transform the educational experience for children in our state.

A comprehensive reform agenda leverages the belief that rigorous standards and assessments, great teaching and educational leadership, and high-quality data systems must work in concert to improve academic achievement.

TVAAS Pre-Service Training

A foundation in the use of Tennessee’s long-standing longitudinal data system is a strong beginning to any teacher’s career. As a commitment to that foundation, the state will invest in a training program that can be disbursed to teacher preparation programs that will focus on the use of Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) data in modifying and improving classroom instruction.

This training program will be an 8-hour component of a research methods course in all teacher preparation programs. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission will work in conjunction with teacher preparation programs to provide training to higher education faculty on the use of this training program, implementation into pre-service curriculum and appropriate interventions based on the data.

Using Data to Improve Instruction

Through focused professional development, teachers across the state will enhance their ability to maximize use of value-added data to improve instruction for students. The program will support teachers and school leaders in the use of balanced assessment to determine how best to help students learn. Using data from this approach to inform instruction throughout the school year – as opposed to waiting for the results of annual assessments – can lead to better student learning. In addition, districts will have support in researching, developing, implementing and enhancing a strategic compensation/performance pay program, providing research-based models for schools throughout the state to successfully implement strategically-aligned performance incentives.

Data Dashboard

The Tennessee Data Dashboard will put important information in the hands of teachers to do their jobs better and enable research and reporting to meet those needs by advancing to a 360-degree view of students. Many conditions in addition to students’ academic experience influence learning and the Tennessee Department of Education will bolster the current longitudinal data system by adding information from other child serving agencies like the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to inform best practices and help reduce achievement gaps in the near- and long-term.

State Longitudinal Data System

Tennessee will build a longitudinal student data system that will push the frontier in collection and utilization of P20 data and promote improvements in program administration and educational outcomes. The initiative will significantly increase teacher, school, and district-level use of near-real time student data by employing sophisticated, as yet underutilized longitudinal data for predictive and retrospective identification of student achievement growth and academic risk factors.

The Tennessee Department of Education and its partner, the University of Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research, will collaborate with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development to expand the state’s existing P12 longitudinal data system to a P20 system.

For a full description of the state’s current Longitudinal Data System and Race to the Top expansion plans, please visit http://www.tn.gov/education/doc/TN_RTTT_Appendix_C.pdf.

State Longitudinal Data System Application