- Tennessee’s plan is robust, transparent, and comprehensive. The state set a clear vision for reform that offers a comprehensive and ambitious plan and theory of action.
- The state aligns district and school accountability systems that rely on high-quality indicators. Tennessee’s inclusion of a ready-to-graduate indicator focuses on students demonstrating college and career readiness, which goes beyond just earning a high school credential.
- Tennessee’s accountability system assigns considerable weight to subgroup performance.
- Finally, the state provides a clear continuum of supports and interventions ranging from district-led support to the achievement school district, and the state’s plan outlines a variety of structures that will help the state pilot new opportunities, identify promising practices, share them across the state, and engage continually with stakeholders.
- Tennessee outlines a variety of structures to continue to engage stakeholders throughout implementation, which will be important as the plan includes some complex elements that may be a challenge for parents, policymakers, and school leaders to understand.
- Additionally, the state is proposing to continue combining the scores of black, Hispanic, and Native American students into one “BHN” subgroup. The state provides compelling data behind its use of this combined group, but it appears inconsistent with the requirements of ESSA to capture any low-performing group. Regardless, Tennessee will need to continue to monitor its data to ensure that some groups of students don’t compensate for lower-performing groups.
- Finally, the plan lacks detail on how the state and districts will support those schools identified with low subgroup performance, including how those schools will demonstrate sufficient progress for those groups.