Published Online: January 3, 2006

Tennessee's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 1,644
Public school teachers 59,584
Pre-K-12 students 936,681
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $5.7 billion
Minority students 28.8%
Children in poverty 21%
Students with disabilities 18.3%
English-language learners 0%

Summary of Grades

Tennessee scores at or near average for all four of the graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

The state earns its only above-average grade in standards and accountability. Tennessee fares well on school accountability measures, earning points for assisting and sanctioning all lowperforming schools. Although the state has assessments aligned with its standards in all of the four core subject areas, its tests rely heavily on multiple-choice items.

Tennessee performs at the national average on efforts related to teacher quality. While the state gains points for its teacher assessment policies, there is room for improvement on indicators related to teacher education and qualifications. For example, the state does not require aspiring middle school teachers to have a major or equivalent coursework in the subjects they will teach in order to earn an initial license.

The state again receives an average score in school climate. Tennessee earns high marks for school facilities and safety issues; it includes safety information on school report cards and has laws related to school bullying or harassment. But there is room to improve in the areas of student engagement and parent involvement.

Tennessee posts an average grade on resource equity. Like most states, its wealth-neutrality score indicates that poorer districts tend to have lower per-pupil funding levels than wealthier ones do.

State Policy Report Card
Tennessee Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability B B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C+ C+
School climate C+ C+
Resource equity C C
Overall Grade C+ C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 33.75 40
Assessment 23.18 30
School accountability 27 30
84 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 25.38 35
Teacher assessment 27.3 30
Professional support and training 14.7 20
Accountability for teacher quality 10.5 15
78 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 9.33 15
School safety 18.25 20
Parent involvement 8.85 15
Choice and autonomy 15 20
Class size 8.33 10
School size 6.83 10
School facilities 10 10
77 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 26 33.3
McLoone Index 20.67 33.3
Coefficient of variation 26 33.3
73 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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