The Tennessee Department of Education seeks to make Tennessee the fastest-improving state in the nation through a commitment to continuous improvement. To do this, all students must improve every year, and those furthest behind must improve at a faster rate.
We are dedicated to changing the trajectory of our education system through First to the Top, statewide reforms funded by over $501 million from the federal government's Race to the Top competition in 2010. Our strategic plan is focused on growth at every level of the system: the state, districts, schools, classrooms and students themselves.
First to the Top lays forth a compelling vision, goals and plan for the future of education in Tennessee, with a renewed focus on developing and improving great teachers and leaders in classrooms and a commitment to student performance across schools, levels and demographics.
In 2012, the state was awarded a waiver from certain portions of the federally mandated No Child Left Behind, allowing Tennessee to enact its own accountability measures to drive teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Tennessee is among the first states in the country to implement a comprehensive, student outcomes-based system of teacher evaluation, using the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model, or TEAM.
The state is also adopting the Common Core State Standards, ensuring that curricula in Tennessee align their education with necessary knowledge for college and careers.
Under the direction of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, the Tennessee Department of Education works with the General Assembly, State Board of Education and educators across the state to improve outcomes for Tennessee students.