Understanding schools' performance scores

Monday, January 8, 2001 at 12:00am

Dr. Bill Sanders, the man credited with developing the Value Added Assessment System for Tennessee schools, will be a quest speaker tomorrow at the Metro School Board meeting.

Craig Owensby, spokesperson for Metro Schools, said that the value added grades are, essentially, progress reports. Children are tested in the third grade to create a baseline understanding of where they stand compared to a nationwide norm. They are then tested each year following against that baseline so that educators can see how well they are learning and how well a teacher is teaching.

For example, if children are learning at 100 percent efficiency, then they are learning no more or no less than what they are expected to learn in a given year. If they are learning at 80 percent efficiency, then they are not learning enough. If they are learning at 120 percent efficiency, then they are making

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