Identifying Tennessee school-based agricultural education student growth and program accountability metrics
Over the years, accountability in education has transformed from the primary focus being the school as a whole to the individual teacher. The purpose of this study was to determine the metrics Tennessee school-based agricultural education teachers perceive as indicators of excellent total programs (classroom instruction, FFA, SAE), and a modified Delphi study was used to seek a consensus. The following nine metrics were retained: (a) pesticide certification, (b) program of activities, (c) number of students participating in CDEs, (d) chapter community service hours, (e) total number of FFA activities, (f) number of CDEs coached, (g) at least one proficiency at regional level, (h) one American degree every 3 years, and (i) percentage of students with SAE. Overall, the metrics agreed upon are narrow in focus and all but one is a record of activity and not direct measures of students’ knowledge or skills. As a result, the measures do not include student growth or value-added scores or authentic assessments of 21st century skills. Additional research is needed to further investigate the metrics that should be used to measure a school-based agricultural education program’s success in Tennessee and across the nation.
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