School Letter Grades

In 2016, T.C.A. § 49-1-228 was established and required the Tennessee Department of Education to develop a school letter grading system beginning in 2017-18 to provide parents and families with information that shows how our public schools are performing. The state’s letter grade legislation is intended to provide a snapshot of how each school performed during the previous academic year and compare those results over time.  

However, in the years following passage of the legislation, testing administration issues and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed a roll-out of school letter grades as part of Tennessee’s state accountability system. Simultaneously, the U.S. Department of Education is requiring adjustments to components of Tennessee’s plan to comply with federal accountability requirements and after months of coordination, the department continues to await feedback and/or approval.  


Tennesseans deserve an accountability system that produces clear information about how our schools are performing so they can best engage to support their student’s education. Similarly, as students are already returning to classrooms following summer break, Tennessee schools and districts need clear information on how they will be measured this school year.   

That’s why the department is inviting members of the public—including families, teachers, community members and decision-makers—to discuss how to measure school performance and report that information to parents and families in a transparent, easy-to-understand way. Our goal is to engage Tennesseans to help create an A-F school letter grade system that gives them the information they need to understand school performance.   

This fall, the department will seek input from stakeholders and members of the public through a variety of engagement opportunities, including small group conversations, local town halls, social media and written public comment. In November, A-F letter grades will be published for each school on the State Report Card, as part of the department’s annual accountability release. 

School Letter Grades Calculation

The calculation to generate A-F letter grades for schools, presented on November 2 to the State Board of Education, includes up to four separate indicators—overall success rate for achievement, overall growth, growth for the lowest performing 25% of students in the school, and college and career readiness indicator—and will differentiate between elementary and middle schools, and high schools. Schools will receive a sub-score for each indicator, ranging from levels 1-5, and each sub-score will be multiplied by assigned weights to generate an aggregate score then will be cross walked to determine the school’s letter grade.  

School Letter Grades Public Town Halls

All Tennesseans were invited to ten public town halls to provide public comment on their top priorities for measuring a school's academic success, and how the state should measure progress towards those priorities.

  • Tuesday, August 15: Mid-Cumberland Region
    • Location: Dickson County High School (509 Henslee Dr, Dickson, TN 37055)
    • Recording
  • Thursday, August 17: First Region
    • Location: First, General Morgan Inn (111 N Main St, Greeneville, TN 37743)
    • Recording
  • Tuesday, August 22: Southwest Region
    • Location: Bartlett High School (5688 Woodlawn, Bartlett, TN 38134)
    • Recording
  • Wednesday, August 23: Southwest Region
    • Location: Southwest TN Community College Macon Cove Campus (5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, TN 38134)
    • Recording
  • Thursday, August 24: Northwest Region
    • Location: Dyersburg Middle School, (400 Frank Maynard Blvd., Dyersburg, TN 38024)
    • Recording
  • Tuesday, August 29: Southeast Region
    • Location: East Brainerd Annex (555 Goodwin Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37421)
    • Recording
  • Thursday, August 31: East Region
    • Location: Central High School (5321 Jacksboro Pike, Knoxville, TN 37918)
    • Recording
  • Tuesday, September 5: Upper Cumberland Region
    • Location: Cookeville High School (1 Cavalier Dr, Cookeville, TN 38501)
    • Recording
  • Wednesday, September 6: Mid-Cumberland
    • Location: Ellington Agricultural Center (440 Hogan Road, Nashville, TN 37220)
    • Recording
  • Thursday, September 7: South Central
    • Location: Shelbyville Central High School (401 Eagle Blvd, Shelbyville, TN 37160)
    • Recording

School Letter Grades Public Comment

All Tennesseans were invited to submit public comment on their top priorities for measuring a school’s academic success, and how the state should measure progress towards those priorities.

Public comment submissions shared via e-mail and at events are available here.


School Letter Grades Working Group

The School Letter Grades Working Group will review the public comment submitted and deliberate and determine the priorities of the new school letter grades calculations based off those submissions. All working group meetings and materials will be posted below for the public to access. View the schedule for the working group meetings below.

  • Aleah Guthrie, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations, State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE)
  • Bob Eby, Chairman, Tennessee State Board of Education
  • Bob Nardo, Executive Director, Libertas School of Memphis
  • Chrisi Bollinger, Analytics, Strategy, and Special Projects, Emerald Charter Schools
  • Christy Carrol Highfill, Vice President of Advocacy, TN PTA
  • Christy Hovanetz, Senior Policy Fellow, ExcelinEd
  • Corby King, Director of Schools, Putnam County Schools
  • Debra Moody, House Education Instruction Committee Chairlady
  • Eddie Pruett, Director of Schools, Gibson County Special School District
  • Erin O’Hara Block, School Board Member, Metro-Nashville Public Schools
  • Francisco Moreno, Parent
  • Gini Pupo Walker, Executive Director, Ed Trust
  • Harold Love Jr., House Education Administration Committee Member
  • JC Bowman, Executive Director & CEO, Professional Educators of Tennessee
  • Jean Luna-Vedder, Director of Schools, Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools
  • Jenna Sharp, Principal, Clinton City Schools
  • Jim Mcintyre, Dean of the College of Education and Assistant Provost for Academic Excellence, Belmont University
  • Joey Vaughn, Director of Schools, Manchester City Schools
  • Jon Lundberg, Senate Education Committee Chairman
  • Kevin Deck, Assessment Analyst, Williamson County Schools
  • Kim Inglish, 2022-23 Teacher of the Year Grand Division Winner, Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Kirk Haston, House K-12 Education Subcommittee Chairman
  • Kyle Loudermilk, 2022-23 Principal of the Year, Kingsport City Schools
  • Margaret Bright, Teacher, Lenoir City Schools
  • Maria Paula Zapata, Director of Programs, Conexion Americas
  • Mark White, House Education Administration Chairman
  • Mary Graham, President, United Ways of Tennessee
  • Melissa Collins, 2022-23 Teacher of the Year, Memphis-Shelby County Schools
  • Missy Testerman, 2023-24 Teacher of the Year, Rogersville City Schools
  • Nate Morrow, Board Member, State Board of Education
  • Norma Gerrell, Director of Schools, Paris Special School District
  • Patsy Hazlewood, House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee Chairlady
  • Russell Dyer, Director of Schools Cleveland City Schools
  • Ryan Holt, Board Member, State Board of Education
  • Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director, Memphis Lift
  • Sara Morrison, Executive Director, State Board of Education
  • Scott Cepicky, House Education Instruction Subcommittee Chairman
  • Tammy Garrett, Director of Schools, Bedford County Schools
  • Tanya Coates, President, Tennessee Education Association
  • Tim Parrott, Director of Schools, Anderson County Schools
  • Tim Ware, Executive Director, Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School
  • Tyler Salyer, Principal, Collierville Schools
  • Venita Doggett, Director of Advocacy, Memphis Education Fund
  • Victor Evans, Executive Director, TennesseeCAN
  • Warren Wells, Board Member, State Board of Education
  • Wendy Hansard, Assistant Principal, Knox County Schools
  • Yetta Lewis, CEO, Gestalt Community Schools