Data Reliability and the Tennessee State Report Card

A brief mention in the Shelbyville Times-Gazette:

The Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) test has experienced glitches the past few years. For the 2015-16 year, the state’s test composite scores did not include grades 4-8 for that reason. Going with limited available results, Bedford County’s scores for the test were at 1 out of 5 (with 5 being highest). Teachers and districts are evaluated by this system.

A blog, Tennessee Education Report, has been highly critical of TVAAS’s reliability.

“The rating formula is heavily skewed toward an unreliable statistical estimate of performance,” writes Andy Spears of the blog. “At best, TVAAS is a rough estimate of teacher performance. A fairly solid indicator that a teacher earning a ‘5’ is NOT a ‘1,’ but relatively meaningless otherwise.” More of Spears’ analysis is available at

For more on education politics and policy, follow @TheAndySpears


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