Tennessee places significant weight on subgroup performance.
Tennessee’s accountability system weights 40 percent of each school’s overall grade on subgroup performance, which is significant.
The state also proposes a combined subgroup.
In both its school-rating system and in its identification of schools in need of targeted support, Tennessee proposes combining the scores of black, Hispanic, and Native American students into one “BHN” subgroup. Because those students are distributed unevenly across the state, Tennessee provides data suggesting that the combined BHN subgroup would allow the state to capture 43,000 black, Hispanic, and Native American students who would otherwise not be counted under its accountability system.
Tennessee should continue to monitor its data to ensure that some groups of students don’t compensate for lower-performing groups. The state could strengthen its plan by limiting its use of the combined group only to cases where individual subgroups did not meet the minimum n-size requirements on their own.