Scores considered to be an “A” or proficient in years past may now be Bs or Cs.
Nashville – The Tennessee Department of Education yesterday announced fundamental changes to the calculations of Value Added and Achievement scores for the 2009 Report Card. The method of calculating scores and the scale used to determine letter grades has been revised to allow for a transition to the new standards and assessments required by the Tennessee Diploma Project. Comparison of the 2009 Report Card data with previous years’ scores will not be possible or valid.
“Our students have made great progress over the last five years,” Education Commissioner Timothy Webb said. “Our teachers have truly made the difference. These changes to our calculations reflect no loss of learning but rather the pursuit of higher standards as we demand the highest level of success for our students.”
Two major changes have been implemented for calculation of scores on the Report Card. First, the baseline year for comparing student achievement has been reset using 2009 test scores. Previously, all students were compared to students who took state tests in 1998. All students in all subgroups have shown tremendous gain compared to 1998 under the previous calculation. However, new learning standards require the state to adopt a new baseline for determining school grades.
Second, a new grade scale will be used. The scale used to determine all grades A through F has been dramatically revised. In past years, Tennessee defined student proficiency in subject matter as a very basic understanding of the knowledge required. The Tennessee Diploma Project requires that the state realistically assess proficiency of subject matter. Going forward, students will be expected to have mastered a concept to be considered proficient.
“We must set expectations for all students higher,” said Dr. Connie Smith, Assistant Commissioner for Accountability, Teaching and Learning. “The Tennessee Diploma Project sets the stage for children to succeed.”
The Tennessee Department of Education expects to release the 2009 Report Card in early November. For more information on the Tennessee Diploma Project, visit http://tn.gov/TDP/.
Information on the Report Card is here: http://tn.gov/education/reportcard/index.shtml.