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 Public Town Halls

All Tennesseans are 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.

Here is the School Letter Grades Public Town Hall schedule:

  • 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 are 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.

From Wednesday, August 9th - Tuesday, September 21st, 296 public comments received are available here.