Tipton County Schools

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Data Glossary


Education, like all professions, has a specialized vocabulary which may sometimes be challenging to interpret.  The following is a list of terms commonly used in education, along with definitions which hopefully increase stakeholders’ understanding of the terms.


Number set by TNDOE for percent proficient and advanced on TCAP tests, including Achievement and EOC

Annual Measurable Objective

New state performance goals or “annual measurable objectives” (AMOs) provide rigorous but realistic college-and career-readiness goals and a new basis for Tennessee’s accountability system. The new accountability system has two overriding objectives: growth for all students every year and closing achievement gaps by ensuring faster growth for those students who are furthest behind. These AMOs will also serve to measure the state’s progress in implementing the ambitious reforms of Tennessee’s First to the Top Act.


Designation given to those districts in the top 5% of school districts in achievement or growth


Designation given to school districts that are not Exemplary, Focus or Priority


Focus Schools – 10 percent of schools with the largest

achievement gaps, subgroup proficiency rates below 5

percent, or high schools with graduation rates less than

60 percent


Priority Schools – 5 percent of schools statewide with the

lowest performance levels in tested grades and subjects


Proficient and Advanced


Economically Disadvantaged – subgroup designation


Students with Disabilities – subgroup designation

BHN/Below Group

Under the TN waiver for NCLB, the below group includes Black, Hispanic and Native American students, designated because of the gap that exists between these subgroups and the all group


Groups of students designated by the Federal government examines for comparison including Students with Disabilities, Economically Disadvantaged as well as racial and ethnic groups


The difference of the P/A percentage between a subgroup and the comparison group

Gap (closure)

A reduction of the P/A percentage between a subgroup and the comparison group

Tennessee Value Added Assessment System

The name of the accountability system created for Tennessee by Dr. William Sanders. It is based on the use of value-added data to determine the true annual academic progress of students and schools. Each student is compared to his or her previous performance.

Teacher effect

The effect (based on TVAAS growth) any given teacher has on his/her students. One year’s growth or higher is the expectation.

Value-Added Analysis

A statistical method that helps educators measure the impact schools & teachers have on students’ academic progress rates from year to year.

Evaluation Composite

A teacher’s value-added measures combined across tests, subjects, and grades to provide an index and effectiveness level. This makes up the 35% growth score in TEAM

TCAP Composite

The average of a teacher’s progress estimates for all subject/grade combinations taught, based on up to 3 years of value-added measures. For some teachers this is also their Evaluation Composite.

EOC Composite

Includes data for all End of Course subjects that a teacher taught in the most recent year, and will include up to 3 years of data. For some teachers this is also their Evaluation Composite.

School or System TVAAS Composite

Overall composite for a school or system including data from all available subjects; this score can be used as an evaluation measure for administrators and teachers in non-tested grades and subjects.


Teacher estimate divided by the standard error

Standard error

Variance in reliability of figure based on the size of the student sample


The progress a student has made.
Growth =  observed score   –  baseline score  
                  (recent test)NCE  –   (past test)NCE


Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model

(new evaluation system)

TEAM Composite

TEAM—Overall summative score based on 15% Ach, 35% Growth, & 50% Qualitative observation scores

Randa Solutions

Company that provides data storage for the state of TN as well as other software applications      https://tdoe.randasolutions.com

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching

A subscription-based, interactive web tool for evaluation & best practices training


Battelle for Kids

Battelle for Kids is a national, not-for-profit organization partnering with the Tennessee Department of Education as part of First to the Top to expand the use of value-added analysis and formative instruction practices as well as other educational-improvement strategies to increase student progress and achievement in K–12 public schools statewide.


Tennessee Electronic Learning Center


An electronic learning center created by the Tennessee Department of Education to give students, parents, and educators access to learning and professional development resources anytime, anywhere. Through collaboration with Apple, Inc. and the Tennessee Board of Regents, the TnELC has a dedicated site on iTunes U, an area of the iTunes Store that provides free education content. The Tennessee Electronic Learning Center is designed to enhance achievement by providing access to more than 280 curriculum-based audio and video tracks developed by the Tennessee Department of Education.  Additional resources are continually added in order to provide educators with as much support as possible in education.  

PD 360


PD 360 is a subscription-based, on-demand library of professional teacher development resources that uses technology to make learning more effective, convenient, and sustainable.  It has over 200 hours of video content that can be accessed 24/7 from the PD 360 website.  PD 360 is great tool to use to introduce new content or to serve as a follow-up to content that has already been delivered.  It features many renowned educational consultants such as Phil Schlechty, Robert Marzano, Rick and Rebecca DuFour, Tom Guskey, Rick Stiggins, David Sousa, Doug Reeves, Michael Fullan and many others.

What Works Clearinghouse

As an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was created in 2002 to be a central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education.    http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/

CRA Constructed Response Assessment

This assessment will focus only on math content for the 2012-2013 school year. All students in third through eighth grade will take three different assessments. All items were developed to measure the content knowledge required by the current rigorous Tennessee Curriculum Standards and the new Common Core Standards

Criterion Referenced Test

A test that measures how well a student has learned a specific body of knowledge and skills. The goal is typically to have every student attain a passing mark, not to compare students to each other.

Norm-referenced test

A test which is designed to evaluate how an individual student’s performance compares to that of an appropriate peer group. Usually the group is representative of a cross-section of all US students.

Normal Curve Equivalent

NCE is the mapping of percentile data into corresponding points in a normal distribution. The purpose is to enable data to be analyzed consistent with the Value-Added Report and the Achievement Report on the Report Card.


The score a student makes on a specific test on a specific date in time


Mastery of grade level content or the ability to do something at grade level. Tennessee students receive scores on the TCAP test that range from "below basic" to "advanced."  The state goal is for all students to score at the "proficient" or "advanced" level.

First to the Top

The name given to Tennessee’s Race to the Top plan.  Tennessee was one of only two states (the other being Delaware) to win the original Race to the Top grant and was awarded over $500 million to be utilized to improve education in the state.

RTT or RttT

Race to the Top

A competitive federal grant program run by the U.S. Department of Education that began in 2009 and provides a total of $4 billion in one-time grants to a handful of states that have created conditions for bold, comprehensive action in four reform areas described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).


Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics


Common Core State Standards

A set of standards for math and English Language Arts that were developed by state leaders to ensure that every student graduates high school prepared for college or the workforce.  The standards are designed to set clear expectations of what students should know in each grade and subject.  They reflect rigorous learning benchmarks when compared to countries whose students currently outperform American students on international assessments.  States voluntarily choose whether to adopt the standards. To date, 46 states, including the District of Columbia, have adopted Common Core standards. The initiative is led by the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve.

CCSS- subjects

Common Core State Standards - currently developed in English/Language Arts (ELA) and Math


Local Education Agency.  Typically means the school district. (Sometimes can refer to the school if mentioned in a district document, for example.)

ESEA Waiver Elementary and Secondary Education Act Waiver

The U.S. Department of Education allowed each State educational agency (SEA) to request flexibility on behalf of itself, its local educational agencies, and schools, in order to better focus on improving student learning and increasing the quality of instruction. The waiver provides State and local leaders flexibility regarding specific requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive State-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction.

Teacher Incentive Fund

Grant awarded by the State Dept. of Education to award teachers a monetary incentive for performance, attendance, and proper certification. 9 Tipton County Schools qualified based on high student poverty levels (E.D.)


The first part of the ACT testing system, EXPLORE is an educational assessment that students take in the eighth grade. It includes four multiple-choice tests in the following areas:  English, reading, mathematics, and science.  


The second part of the ACT testing system, the PLAN is an educational assessment that students take in the tenth grade. It includes four multiple-choice tests in the following areas:  English, reading, mathematics, and science.  As a "pre-ACT" test, PLAN is a powerful predictor of success on the ACT. The PLAN helps tenth-graders build a solid foundation for future academic and career success and provides information needed to address school districts' high-priority issues.

Formative assessment

Any form of testing or assessment used by a teacher to evaluate students' knowledge and understanding of particular content and then to adjust instructional practices accordingly toward improving student achievement in that area.  Results are used for feedback during the learning process rather than just at the end.  Formative assessments provide the information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are occurring. In this sense, formative assessment informs both teachers and students about student understanding at a point when timely adjustments can be made.

Summative assessment

Any form of testing or assessment used to evaluate and/or grade students' knowledge and understanding of particular content at the end of a set period of time, such as a semester or year or at the end of a unit of study.  Summative assessments are administered after the completion of unit or length of time in order to determine the level of skill or concept mastery and/or to meet accountability requirements.  For example, TCAP tests are summative assessments.  


As it applies to the rigor/relevance framework, rigor is a condition of the learning environment which stretches the individual learner to move beyond his/her current “comfort zone” and grow as an independent learner.  Rigor is maintaining high academic standards and assigning tasks that involve critical thinking (i.e., advanced levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy), thereby developing students into not merely passive learners, but active thinkers and doers.

Student Demographic Data Verification

The TCAP Student Demographic Data Verification website provides allows schools and districts to verify and correct student demographic information.

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of 23 states plus the US Virgin Islands working together to develop a common set of K-12 assessments in English and math anchored in what it takes to be ready for college and careers.  These new K-12 assessments will build a pathway to college and career readiness by the end of high school, mark students’ progress toward this goal from 3rd grade up and provide teachers with timely information to inform instruction and provide student support.  The PARCC assessments will be ready for states to administer during the 2014-15 school year.

Evidence-based selective response

Evidence-based selective response will be a form of question related to the PARCC.

Technology enhanced constructive response

Technology enhanced constructive response will be a form of question of the PARCC.

Range of Prose Constructed Response

Range of Prose Constructive Response Question will be a form of question on the PARCC which will require students to read a series of texts in order to write a response to a question based on all the texts.