Tennessee Releases Pre-Pandemic Projected Student Performance Data to Inform Strategic Decision-Making & Continue Addressing Learning Loss

Monday, January 24, 2022 | 10:45am


New Projected Scores Will Increase Understanding of the Pandemic’s Overall 
Impact on Student Achievement

Nashville, TN—Today, Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Education, in partnership with the SAS Institute, released pre-pandemic projected data compared to student’s actual TCAP scores to help measure the pandemic’s impact on student achievement via the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) public site, which is used annually to measure overall student growth. The results of this additional annual analysis from SAS show the negative impact of COVID-19 on student achievement and bright spots for schools that have outperformed expectations. 

Since 1993, SAS® EVAAS® has provided Tennessee educators and policymakers with a powerful tool, TVAAS, to determine—grade-by-grade and subject-by-subject—whether all students have plentiful choices and increased opportunities for learning. TVAAS analyses follow the progress of individual students over time to assess systems’, schools’ and teachers’ influence on student progress and provide trajectories for individual students toward critical academic benchmarks.

In September 2020, Tennessee was the first state to release learning loss projections to begin critical conversations on how to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on students. Additionally, in January 2021, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to address learning loss with the Tennessee General Assembly convening in a historic special session to pass essential legislation targeted at moving our students forward, including establishing summer learning camps and TN ALL Corps, the state’s high-dosage, low-ratio tutoring program.             

The newly released pre-pandemic projected scores are based on students’ 2018-19 TCAP scores and assume that students had the “average schooling experience” prior to the pandemic compared to students’ scores on the 2020-21 TCAP assessment. This data analysis tool is available to the public each year, with additional features included by SAS this year. 

"Tennessee is continuing to lead the way to address learning loss and the effects of the pandemic, share critical data and insights on how our students are performing, and create innovative programs to accelerate student achievement,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “We will continue to innovate and share transparently about how our students are performing and where they need support.”

“As the pandemic has impacted our students for over two school years, putting this tool in the hands of hard-working educators and their communities is critical to continue Tennessee’s accelerated academic achievement and build on the incredible work happening in our public schools every day,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Together, Tennessee has already addressed these concerns head-on through summer programming, intensive tutoring, and innovative school models. We will continue to do so because that is what our students need and I commend our districts and schools for keeping the needs of students at the center of our work.”

“Using the TVAAS tool we produce each year, we recognize the importance of releasing this new projected data to continue to speak honestly about the learning loss that has occurred across our state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide solutions to get our students back on track,” said Rachael Maves, Chief of Preparation and Performance, Tennessee Department of Education. 

At the district level, Union City Schools, Obion County Schools, Bradford Special School District, Huntingdon Special School District, Clinton City Schools, Decatur County Schools, and Maryville City Schools had positive growth on TCAP math assessments across all grades compared to projected pre-pandemic scores. Similarly, Pickett County Schools, Union City Schools, Newport City Schools, Obion County Schools, Clinton City Schools, Lincoln County Schools, Rogersville City Schools, Bradford Special School District, and Alcoa City Schools had positive values on TCAP ELA assessments across all grades compared to pre-pandemic projected scores.

Using the existing TVAAS site and newly added functions, Tennesseans can compare the pre-pandemic projected score against actual TCAP scores to reveal more details about how the COVID-19 pandemic affected student performance across the state. The pre-pandemic projected score will help district and school leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders understand how the impacts of the pandemic differed by subject, grade, socioeconomic and demographic groups. Equipped with this information, districts will have another tool to determine the best supports needed to get students back to pre-pandemic projected achievement.

While this new metric provides greater insight into the pandemic’s effects, the pre-pandemic projected score is not included in the state’s accountability system and does not represent all possible impacts of the pandemic. This metric is intended for informational purposes only at the local and state levels.

For over twenty years, the department has worked with SAS and was the first state to implement value added metrics to track growth among students. This method of value-added metrics has been implemented and replicated across the country.

“The TVAAS web application supports Tennessee educators in identifying the pandemic's impact on student learning through empirical results,” said John White, Vice President of SAS EVAAS. “Educators can benefit from data based on their own students and own schools. While this information is just one way to understand the pandemic's educational impact, it is important for identifying and addressing students' needs. This data also reinforces how important schools and teachers are to student learning.”

For more information the state’s assessment program, visit the department’s website

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact Edu.MediaInquiries@tn.gov.