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New Report Examines Impact of Ineffective Teachers on Students

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | 09:00am

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has released a new report that explores how students in Tennessee’s public schools are impacted when they are taught by an ineffective teacher for two consecutive years. The report was prepared at the request of Senator Dolores Gresham.

More than 8,000 Tennessee students (1.6 percent of students included in the study) had a teacher with low evaluation scores in both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years in math, English, or both subjects.

Students were less likely than their peers to be proficient or advanced on the state’s assessments when they were taught by ineffective teachers in consecutive years. Student achievement also suffered with the largest effects found for the highest and lowest performing students. These results are consistent with other research indicating that ineffective teachers have negative academic impacts on students.

Students in certain districts, grades, subjects, and subgroups were more likely to be taught in consecutive years by ineffective teachers. English language learners, students in special education, and students in high-poverty schools were over 50 percent more likely than other students to have consecutive ineffective teachers. Students who had two ineffective teachers represented over 10 percent of the examined students in two school districts.

The report includes three policy considerations that address how to increase equitable access to effective teachers for all students, how to ensure that no student has ineffective teachers in consecutive years, and whether an annual report from the Tennessee Department of Education on this issue should be required.

To read the policy considerations and a more detailed analysis of the conclusions, please click here.

Media contact: John Dunn, Public Information Officer, 615.401.7755 or

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