Tennessee cancels TNReady testing for grades 3-8, ends contract with test vendor

The glitchy rollout of TNReady to replace Tennessee's TCAP test is sparking debate and anxiety.
photo Education Commissioner Candice McQueen speaks to media representatives while at the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced today that TNReady testing for grades 3-8 will be suspended for the remainder of the school year.

McQueen said that the state's contract with Measurement Inc., the testing vendor who developed TNReady, has been terminated.

This is the inaugural year for TNReady, which replaces TCAP, and school systems across the state have been plagued with problems since it's rollout. The test was originally developed to be taken online, but due to glitches with the online platform, the state decided in February to return to paper and pencil testing.

TNReady was designed to be taken in two-parts, and printing delays forced school districts to reschedule the administration of the first portion of the test. Part-two of the test was scheduled to begin Monday, but due to additional printing delays McQueen said the tests would not arrive on time for testing to continue as scheduled, and canceled testing statewide.

"Measurement Inc.'s performance is deeply disappointing. We've exhausted every option in problem solving with this vendor to assist them in getting these tests delivered," McQueen said in a statement. "Districts have exceeded their responsibility and obligation to wait for grade 3-8 materials, and we will not ask districts to continue waiting on a vendor that has repeatedly failed us."

High school students will continue to take the second portion of the TNReady test, which has already arrived, and districts will receive results from these tests in the fall, McQueen said.

McQueen said the department is working with the state's Central Procurement Office to expedite the selection of a vendor for the scoring of this year's high school assessment and the development of next year's test.

Heather DeGaetano, a parent of a student at Normal Park who has been vocally against TNReady this year, said canceling testing for grades 3-8 is the right thing to do for kids.

"With so many problems, serious questions on the validity of the tests and the continuing and confusing delays, I'm really glad to see that the state Department of Education finally listened to parents from across Tennessee," she said.