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Teacher Evaluation in Tennessee: What We Have Learned from a Decade of Research

In this brief, we draw on a broad body of research evaluating Tennessee's evaluation system over the last ten years to explore whether it has led to gains in student achievement. Looking across several studies, we find evidence consistent with a theory that evaluation reform contributed to student achievement gains and that evaluation reform operated to improve student achievement through two mechanisms: teacher development and strategic teacher retention. 


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Key Findings

Evaluation Synthesis  

  • Student achievement improved more after Tennessee's evaluation reform than we would have expected otherwise. 

  • Teacher retention decisions became more selective with respect to teacher performance following evaluation reform. 

  • The rate of teachers' year-over-year improvement increased following evaluation reform.

  • Tennessee's teachers increasingly perceive the evaluation system to be leading to improvements in their practice and students' achievement. 

Suggested Citation:

Guthrie, J. E., Hernández, M., & Grissom, J. A. (2020). Teacher evaluation in Tennessee: What we have learned from a decade of research. Tennessee Education Research Alliance.