5 Things Equity Advocates Should Know About… The 2020-2021 TN State Report Card
1. Schools and districts were not assigned A-F summative letter grades due to the impact of the pandemic on students and schools. A-F letter grades have not been assigned since ESSA passed.
USED waived federal assessment and accountability requirements at the start of the pandemic. Public Chapter 2 states that if 80% or more of an LEA’s or public charter schools’ students participate in the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) test, results will not be used to assign summative letter grades, identify new priority schools, or assign schools to the Achievement School District (ASD). Since 100% of school districts met this requirement, they are listed as ‘H,’ or held harmless. However, existing accountability designations, including Comprehensive Support and Improvement School (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement School (TSI), are carried over from 2019.
2. Critical data, including 2020-2021 district and school-level finance information, TVAAS growth scores, and postsecondary enrollment, is currently not available.
2020-2021 TCAP data is available on the State Report Card. However, it does not include current district and school-level finance information, TVAAS growth scores, or postsecondary enrollment data. TDOE shared that they will update these three components in the late fall of 2021. However, it may be unclear to see updated TCAP results alongside pre-pandemic school-level finance information and other data given COVID-19’s widespread influence. Some information, including student discipline and additional indicators for Progress on English Language Proficiency, is also currently not available on the State Report Card.
3. Advocates can leverage School Report Card data to understand how students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and other groups were impacted by the pandemic.
Under the ‘Performance Indicators’ section, stakeholders can see school and district data like TCAP proficiency and chronic absenteeism data disaggregated by the following student groups: economically disadvantaged, English language learners, students with disabilities, Black/Hispanic/Native American, and combined. Some indicators differentiate by race, but this is not consistent across indicators.
4. The State Report Card is structured to examine individual schools and districts, which limits comparison.
While comparative data between the school, its district, and the state are available for some indicators, it is currently not possible to select specific schools or districts to view in contrast with one another. However, comparability can illuminate variation within districts and across Tennessee to inform decision-making.
5. Stakeholders can utilize existing School Report Card data to advocate for more comprehensive data to support students’ social emotional and mental-health development.
Social-emotional development and mental health are top of mind for many students, families, schools, and other stakeholders given the impact of the pandemic. Under ‘Other Indicators,’ the State Report Card lists the number of school services support personnel, which includes counselors, and the number of students per staff in a school or district. Advocates can compare their specific ratio to national recommendations and advocate for tracking other non-academic measures through the State Report Card, including school climate measures.
- Can the State Report Card disaggregate all indicators by student group with ‘Black/Hispanic/ Native American’ data into separate groups and include all races currently tracked by TDOE?
- Currently, in-school suspensions, out-of school suspensions, and expulsions will be included on the Data Downloads page in a future update, but not on the State Report Card. The State Report Card shared that COVID shifted discipline practices and record-keeping that makes longitudinal comparison difficult. Is it possible to provide 2020-2021 student discipline data on the State Report Card without previous years to increase stakeholder transparency?
- 2019-2020 Teacher Race and Ethnicity Data is currently available on the TDOE Data Downloads & Requests page. Is it possible to update this data for 2020-2021, include it on the State Report Card under the ‘Staff’ section, and include how it compares to District Diversity Goals once available?