Exploring teachers' perceptions of Tennessee Value -Added Assessment System professional development

Michael Scott Gonzales, Tennessee State University


The accountability system implemented to measure the progress toward the goals of the Tennessee Education Improvement act was the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (Gurley, Krushenski, & Smith 2004). For TVAAS to be an effective accountability tool, teachers had to participate in professional development activities to interpret and utilized TVAAS data (Bratton, Horn, & Sanders, 1996). The study sample explored full time certified grades 4 through 8 teachers' perceptions in rural school districts in southern middle Tennessee (N = 57). An integrated analysis comprised of descriptive quantitative data analysis and qualitative data analysis using a constant comparative method was employed to analyze the demographic data, responses to the questionnaire items, and responses to an open ended question asking teachers how they would design an effective TVAAS professional development program. From the teachers' perspectives the effectiveness of TVAAS professional developments in training teachers to interpret, analyze, and modify their instructional strategies has been neutral, neither effective nor ineffective. The absence of a system to measure the effectiveness of TVAAS professional development in terms of student achievement and the lack of continuous TVAAS professional development continue to be barriers to effective TVAAS professional development. Teachers in this study preferred TVAAS professional development conducted in small groups or teams by grade level or subject matter at the school site. Teachers also expressed the need for additional TVAAS professional development time and the importance of peer collaboration. One need for effective TVAAS professional development that was unique to this study and not reflected in the review of literature was the need for a knowledgeable TVAAS resource person at each school. Recommendations for effective TVAAS professional development are (1) clearly communicating the purpose and value of TVAAS, (2) connecting TVAAS to a teacher's effectiveness, (3) setting aside more time for TVAAS professional development, (4) providing continuous TVAAS professional development, (5) conducting TVAAS professional development in small groups by grade level or subject taught at the school level, (6) utilizing a site level teacher who is knowledgeable of TVAAS to conduct the TVAAS professional development, and (7) engaging teachers in peer collaboration.

Subject Area

School administration|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Michael Scott Gonzales, "Exploring teachers' perceptions of Tennessee Value -Added Assessment System professional development" (2006). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3211922.