The Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System determines the effectiveness of school systems, schools, and teachers based on student academic growth over time. An integral part of TVAAS is a massive, longitudinally merged database linking students and student outcomes to the schools and systems in which they are enrolled and to the teachers to whom they are assigned as they transition from grade to grade. Research conducted utilizing data from the TVAAS database has shown that race, socioeconomic level, class size, and classroom heterogeneity are poor predictors of student academic growth. Rather, the effectiveness of the teacher is the major determinant of student academic progress. Teacher effects on student achievement have been found to be both additive and cumulative with little evidence that subsequent effective teachers can offset the effects of ineffective ones. For these reasons, a component linking teacher effectiveness to student outcomes is a necessary part of any effective educational evaluation system.
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