Student Growth Portfolio Models

The First to the Top Act of 2010 outlined a comprehensive evaluation system for teachers based on multiple measures of effectiveness, including student growth indicators. As such, developing comparable measures for teachers in non-tested grades and subjects continues to be a top priority for the department.

TEAM student growth portfolios were designed in response to requests by teachers in non-tested grades and subjects for a measure of student growth, comparable to that of TVAAS, for use in their evaluations. Portfolios, which are a collection of authentic student work from two points in time, allow teachers to demonstrate their effectiveness in fostering student growth. Portfolio growth models produce authentic student growth measures unique to an individual teacher’s students. Through video, audio, and still pictures of student work, teachers capture student growth in real time. Many educators cite professional learning as an added benefit of implementing the portfolio process.

Pursuant to state board policy 5.201(1)(a)(1)), all pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers employed by a district or charter that offers an approved VPK (voluntary pre-K) program must implement the board-approved pre-kindergarten and kindergarten portfolio models. Participation in any additional student growth portfolio models is an evaluation flexibility option. Portfolio growth model scores maintain all the rights, responsibilities, and legalities of a growth measure attained from a TCAP test, and are treated as such within the evaluation process and with human capital decisions.

In spring 2019, the legislature amended T.C.A. § 49-6-111 to create a portfolio review committee. This committee was charged with reviewing the pre-kindergarten/kindergarten student growth portfolio model process, identifying expectations for the model and areas of improvement, and releasing findings and recommendations, including providing districts with alternative growth options and developing an approval process for these options. The committee convened on July 23, 2019, and, with facilitation support from the department staff, developed nine recommendations that can be viewed here.

Tennessee currently uses the following portfolio growth models:

See the Portfolio Resources page for guidebooks, scoring guides, and other resources for educators in non-tested grades and subject areas listed above.

Tennessee continues to pilot new growth models in other areas, and is always working to expand and refine coverage. With any thoughts on additional areas that could benefit from a student growth portfolio model, or if you are interested in piloting a portfolio growth model in your district, please contact Portfolio.Questions@tn.gov.

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