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:
- Candice McQueen, Tennessee Commissioner of Education
- Sara Morrison, Executive Director, State Board of Education
- Dolores Gresham, Chairman, Senate Education Committee
- John Forgety, Chairman, House Education Instruction and Programs Committee
- Harry Brooks, Chairman, House Education Administration and Planning Committee
- Mark White, Chairman, House Education Administration and Planning Subcommittee
- Wayne Blair, President, Tennessee School Board Association
- Barbara Gray, President, Tennessee Education Association
- Dale Lynch, Executive Director, Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents
- Sharon Roberts, Chief Strategy Officer, State Collaborative on Reforming Education
- Audrey Shores, Chief Operating Officer, Professional Educators of Tennessee
- Gini Pupo-Walker, Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition and Senior Director of Education Policy & Programs, Conexión Américas
- Lisa Wiltshire, Policy Director, Tennesseans for Quality Early Education
- Shawn Kimble, Director of Schools, Lauderdale County School System
- Mike Winstead, Director of Schools, Maryville City Schools
- Jennifer Cothron, Assessment Supervisor, Wilson County Schools
- Trey Duke, Coordinator for Federal Programs and RTI2, Rutherford County Schools
- Michael Hubbard, Director of Performance Excellence, Kingsport City Schools
- LaToya Pugh, iZone Science Instructional Support Manager, Shelby County Schools
- Bill Harlin, Principal, Nolensville High School, Williamson County Schools
- Laura Charbonnet, Assistant Principal, Collierville High School, Collierville Schools
- Tim Childers, Assistant Principal, L&N STEM Academy, Knox County Schools
- Kevin Cline, Assistant Principal, Jefferson County High School, Jefferson County Schools
- Kim Herring, Teacher, Cumberland County High School, Cumberland County School District
- Jolinea Pegues, Special Education Teacher, Southwind High School, Shelby County Schools
- Stacey Travis, Teacher, Maryville High School, Maryville City Schools
- Josh Rutherford, Teacher, Houston County High School, Houston County School District
- Cicely Woodard, 2017-18 Tennessee Teacher of the Year, West End Middle Prep, Metro Nashville Public Schools
- Virginia Babb, Parent, Knox County Parent-Teacher Association
- Jennifer Frazier, Parent, Hamblen County Department of Education
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.