Director of Schools Jesse Register is planning for the district to contract with Bill Sanders, who also works with the Tennessee Department of Education, to help Nashville’s public school district use data better.
“We have the ability with this data to literally predict students’ chances of being academically successful as they move through school,” Register said Thursday, to members of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. “I know that Bill can help us map out strategies for improving the performance of every child, every teacher and every school in our district.”
Register said the extent of Sanders’ involvement with MNPS has not yet been determined, though Sanders will speak next month to members of Register’s work groups working on district reform. It may be possible to pay for Sanders’ work using federal funds, Register said.
Sanders is now based in North Carolina, but he was a researcher in Tennessee when he began to pioneer the data — called value-added data — currently used in the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System. Unlike standardized test scores, value-added information takes current results and gives educators an idea of each student’s expected academic trajectory for years go come. The data can be collected for individual students, teachers, schools and school districts.
In Nashville, data from TVAAS is available to individual schools and teachers, though some Metro employees report that training for use of this information is inconsistent. Register said Thursday that he agrees with characterizations of district TVAAS use as underutilized and inconsistent, and that he plans to seriously increase MNPS’ TVAAS applications.
Visit the state DOE’s Report Card, available at tennessee.gov/education, for TVAAS data on individual Metro schools. A private organization, the Education Consumers Foundation, has released its own ranking of Metro schools based on value-added information, which is available at education-consumers.org.