Photo courtesy of Tennessee Department of Education
Rutherford County School Board Director Don Odom requested that the school board approve a motion to nullify TNReady test scores for 2018, according to a statement by Rutherford County Schools Communications and Community Relations Coordinator James Evans. This comes after many students from counties across the state were unable to access or complete their TNReady assessments online due to a technical failure.
Evans’ full statement is below.
“Hello middle and high school parents,
This is James Evans again with Rutherford County Schools. Today is Monday, April 30.
As I am sure you are aware, the Tennessee Department of Education has experienced multiple reliability issues with its online testing platform. We’ve had questions from several parents about whether the TNReady test scores would count toward students’ second semester grades this year.
So on Thursday, our School Board will have its regular meeting and our director has requested the School Board approve a motion that will allow us NOT to count those scores this year. We expect the Board will support this recommendation because of the state’s ongoing online testing issues.
However, we also want to ensure that students give their best effort this week as we complete the online testing. Even though these scores will likely not count against the students’ scores this year, the results will still be returned from the state to our district, and so there will be a record of those scores for future reference. Each year, we are proud of the performance of our students and teachers, and we want the results to reflect the high quality of our students and their schools.
Thank you for all the patience you’ve shown during this testing season. We share your frustration, and we have given lots of feedback to the state about our concerns with the way testing has been conducted this year.
Thank you again for all that you do to support our schools.”
TNReady tests are state-given assessments for the education of elementary and middle school children. TNReady is a part of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, commonly referred to as TCAP. More information on the TNReady program can be found here.
Due to the fact that tests are still being taken this week, Evans could not yet give an estimate for how many students were or are being affected by online technical issues.
“We are still testing over the next four to five days, and we do not have a firm count on how many sub-tests were unable to be completed,” Evans told Sidelines. “We should receive that total number from the state at a later time.”
Evans said that teacher evaluations would not be impacted by low test scores.
“The Tennessee Legislature passed legislation last week that prohibits this year’s tests results from being used against any student, teacher, school or district,” Evans said. “The results can only be used if it helps a teacher, per the legislation.”
When asked how Rutherford County Schools planned to address this technical issue for next year’s testing, Evans said that the jurisdiction for change is in the hands of the Tennessee Department of Education and their testing vendor, Questar.
“The testing platform is out of the hands of Rutherford County Schools, and all of our employees and students did exactly what they were supposed to do to prepare for this year’s tests,” Evans said. “The testing platform is the responsibility of the Tennessee Department of Education and the testing vendor, Questar, it selected. As this year has proved, the Tennessee Department of Education and Questar have failed to provide a stable online testing platform for school districts to use.”
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