In 2010 the decision to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) was made by the governor and the Board of Education of Tennessee. At that time the Tennessee legislature, all 136 local education agencies and local boards of education committed to the implementation of CCSS through the Race to the Top Application and Grant Award. School districts across Tennessee began the phase-in of CCSS for English language arts and math while still using the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment (TCAP) as the end-of-year accountability assessment for grades three through eight. Currently, most districts have begun using CCSS with the expectation of the implementation of PARCC assessments in the 2014-2015 academic year. However, this past spring, statewide concern about the CCSS implementation from community and other organizations prompted the Tennessee legislature to halt its transition to PARCC for one year as a compromise to delaying the CCSS implementation in the classroom. Students in Tennessee for 2014-2015 will be assessed with TCAP and the state has opened a competitive bidding process to find an assessment (which could end up being PARCC). This delay has reinforced the continued dilemma of teaching CCSS standards while preparing students for an end-of-year accountability test that was developed for previous state standards.
The Tennessee Education Association continues to deemphasize the importance of standardized tests and has taken a strong stand against the use of TVASS (Tennessee Value Added System) data in teacher evaluation. TVASS is the measure of the effect of a district, school, or teacher has on academic progress and growth rate of students, based on multiple measures, including TCAP.