State Department of Education says TNReady fall testing successful

State Department of Education says TNReady fall testing successful

December 19th, 2017 by Meghan Mangrum in Local Regional News

Over the course of three weeks, thousands of high school students across Tennessee completed TNReady end-of-course exams online.

More than 260 high schools across the state's 147 districts took part in the fall block of testing, with students taking more than 120,000 tests.

The testing process was successful, said Sara Gast, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Education, in a news release.

If the testing and scoring was indeed successful, it will be welcome news to students and parents. TNReady testing has been fraught with issues since the test was adopted in 2015.

Earlier this year, state officials announced nearly 10,000 assessment tests were incorrectly scored by the state's vendor.

School officials said three Hamilton County Schools were impacted — Red Bank High School, Lookout Valley Middle/High and Ivy Academy.

As of October, state officials announced the errors had been fixed as legislators demanded a moratorium on using test scores to evaluate students.

Last year, Tennessee terminated its contract with Measurement Inc. after the North Carolina company's online platform failed in a number of districts. After the failure, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen directed districts to stop testing.

The state was then forced to suspend testing for grades 3 through 8 after the company was unable to get backup paper tests to a number of schools.

Last week, McQueen met with a 30-member task force for a third time to look at ways to improve assessment testing overall.

All high school students are taking TNReady assessments online this year, a digital shift officials have encouraged with the hopes it will streamline and quicken the process.

The online platform is optional for grades 5 through 8.

"We always want assessment to be a moment to celebrate what students know, and having a smooth online administration allows assessment to be a seamless part of the teaching and learning cycle so we can focus on using these results to better support students," McQueen said in a statement. "Now we are looking to build on this successful administration as we quickly return raw scores and move ahead into preparations for the spring."

However, not all agreed that the experience had been improved.

"As a student, perhaps the most irritating rule about standardized testing is the lack of permission to discuss it. At any rate, I will point out a couple of aspects of the test: When I took my chemistry test, about five chemical equations did not display correctly, instead showing long strings of repetitive text and gibberish," wrote Desmond Harper in a letter to the editor published Monday.

"This is not the fault of any school staff or local board member. After six years of the state Department of Education claiming falsely that test results will return in time to be counted on our final grades, we still are not sure of anything," he added.

Districts are expected to receive raw scores from the fall block testing on Jan. 5. They will receive detailed score reports in February that will then be given to students.

Contact staff writer Meghan Mangrum at mmangrum@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.


This story was updated at 2:53 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 to reflect the correct number of school districts in the state.


Loading...