The state of Tennessee has reconvened a task force to study and identify best practices in testing at the school, district and state levels.
Education Commissioner Candice McQueen first assembled the Tennessee Task Force on Student Testing and Assessment in 2015 to seek feedback from educators, parents and stakeholders during the state's first year of TNReady.
The task force has met annually to continue to work with representatives from across the state to develop strong recommendations based on in-depth discussions and analysis, according to a news release.
Both previous iterations of the task force have developed recommendations to guide the work of the state, districts and schools. Many of these recommendations now are being implemented, including:
» Reducing state tests, including the elimination of the SAT-10, Explore and Plan exams, and cutting the length of the third and fourth grade science and social studies TNReady tests
» The timely release of assessment blue prints and practice test opportunities,
» Improving standards-level teacher reports and detailed family reports, and
» Providing the first statewide opportunity in the country for each high school senior to retake the ACT for free.
"This task force has been critical in our work to improve the testing experience for students while providing better information to teachers and parents," McQueen said in the news release. "As in the past, I am confident that this group will continue to provide meaningful, actionable recommendations for improving both district and state assessment programs."
The group will evaluate the first full year of grades 3-8 and End-of-Course TNReady exams and discuss the current year testing and progress. Members also will be tasked with reviewing district formative assessment practices and their alignment to state standards and TNReady expectations, and provide further recommendations for improvement.
The first meeting of the task force will be on Monday, Dec. 11, in Nashville, with at least five more meetings to take place between then and July 2018.
The task force:
Student members will also be invited to join based on the topics for specific meetings.
This story was updated Nov. 20 at 10:50 p.m.