2021 District Accountability

Under Tennessee’s accountability system, districts must increase achievement levels for all students and show faster growth in achievement for the students who are furthest behind in order to narrow achievement gaps.

Public Chapter 2 of the First Extraordinary Session of the 112th General Assembly amended laws regarding school and district accountability which offer the opportunity to remove negative consequences associated with accountability this year. This includes using student performance or student growth data from the 2020-21 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) administration to assign letter grades, or assigning summative ratings for schools eligible for accountability protections in the 2020-21 State Report Card. 

Additionally, schools that are held harmless may not use student performance data or student growth data from TCAP tests administered in 2020-21 to identify a school as a priority school or to assign a school to the achievement school district. Finally, student performance on assessments administered in 2020-21 to assess student readiness for postsecondary education must be excluded from the performance goals and measures required from schools, unless student performance on postsecondary readiness assessments administered in 2020-21 results in a higher performance designation for the school or LEA. Schools and districts are held harmless from the accountability provisions specified in PC 2 when they meet the TCAP“ eighty-percent-participation requirement” detailed in PC 2. 

PC2 does not prohibit the use of student performance data and student growth data from TCAP tests administered in 2020-21 to determine priority exit status for schools identified as priority. PC 2 also allows for schools currently identified as Priority, Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement to have the designation removed upon meeting priority exit criteria if they meet the 80% TCAP participation requirements.

 Additionally, the department shall provide student performance and student growth data to LEAs, and as required by federal law. The 2020-21 State Report card will not include letter grades or summative ratings for the 2020-21 school year, but will include additional information on assessment participation rates.

“Held harmless” refers to schools and school districts for whom student performance and student growth data from the 2020-21 school year cannot be used to assign letter grades or any other summative ratings in the 2021 state report card. These data also cannot be used to identify a school as a priority school, nor to assign a school to the Achievement School District (ASD).

In accordance with PC2, since all districts achieved a minimum 80% participation rate on TCAP assessments, all districts are held harmless for the 2020-21 school year. In other words, districts and schools will not use student achievement and student growth data to assign letter grades or any other summative ratings in the 2021 State Report Card. These data will not be used to identify Priority schools, nor to assign a school to the ASD. LEAs will still be responsible for performance goals, even though performance goals will not be determined using student achievement or student growth data from 2020-21 TCAP assessments. 

All school and district designations are pending State Board of Education approval pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-1-602.

To read more about hold harmless provisions, please see this FAQ document

Districts Designated as Exemplary

  • Maryville City Schools
  • South Carroll Special School District
  • Newport City Schools 
  • Alamo City Schools
  • Bradford Special School District
  • Gibson County Special School District
  • Lincoln County Schools