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Students in Tennessee Instructed by Consecutive Ineffective Teachers

March 2019

Author: Kristina Podesta

Full Report

In 2018, Senator Gresham requested that the Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) complete a study about student placement and teacher effectiveness. The request specifically asked OREA to answer two questions:

  • How many students in Tennessee were instructed for two consecutive years by ineffective teachers (i.e., teachers with low evaluation scores)?
  • What was the academic impact of two consecutive ineffective teachers?

OREA found that 8,115 students (1.6 percent of students included in the study) had a teacher with a low evaluation score in both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years in math, English, or both subjects. As outlined in the report, students in certain districts, grades, subjects, and subgroups were more likely to be taught in consecutive years by ineffective teachers. In two districts, for example, students who had consecutive ineffective teachers represented over 10 percent of students included in the study.

After being taught by ineffective teachers in consecutive years, students were less likely than their peers to be proficient or advanced. OREA found that the magnitude of this effect differs depending on students’ previous academic achievement and inclusion in identified subgroups.