School Choice Score: 0%
In 2015, Tennessee enacted an Education Savings Account that will launch later in the year. The ESA is for students with disabilities and meet additional enrollment requirements. The state permits parents some choices among traditional public schools, allowing students to attend any public school in the state, but moves from one district to another require districts to agree to such transfers.
Charter Schools Score: 75%
Codifying the state board on appeal was a major step forward in a state that has approached charter schooling incrementally despite tremendous parent demand. Thanks in large part by its leadership and not necessarily in law, there has been significant activity by the Achievement School District (ASD) to take over failing schools and turn them over to charters. Limitations do remain on a charter’s ability to contract for management/curriculum services like all other public schools in the Volunteer State enjoy.
Online Learning Score: 0%
Limits were put into law in 2013 on the numbers of students that can enroll in online learning program, now capped at 5,000 students. Tennessee has significant momentum in providing students access to personalized, rigorous content. Multiple districts are expanding access to learning opportunities that better prepare students for college and/or career. Nine districts operate virtual programs that provide students (both intra and inter-district) digital learning opportunities that expand from grades K-12. Through the Achievement School District and School Improvement Office, there are multiple campuses implementing blended learning opportunities for students.
- Source: Digital Learning Now!
Teacher Quality Score: 85%
Ineffective classroom performance is grounds for dismissal, and teachers revert to probationary status after two consecutive years of poor evaluations. Tenure decisions are connected to evidence of classroom effectiveness. Performance is considered when layoffs occur, and “last hired, first fired” is prohibited. Tennessee teacher compensation is controlled by a state salary schedule based on seniority and advanced degrees and does not compensate teachers for prior work experience. Districts can submit their own salary schedules to the state for implementation consideration.