One might think that the problems with the state’s Pre-K/Kindergarten portfolio evaluation couldn’t get any worse. But, we are dealing with the Tennessee Department of Education and failed leader Candice McQueen. These are the same people who brought us fake hacking and a monstrous TNReady dump truck.
Anyway, after this year’s blame the teachers portfolio event, the state finally agreed to review portfolios and re-score them. In fact, the state offered $500 each to reviewers who would meet at centralized locations and on a single day (September 8th) to assess the portfolios in question. This would allow for immediate feedback and assistance should problems arise.
The good news: No assistance was necessary because problems didn’t arise during the scoring.
The bad news: That’s because there was no scoring as the state’s vendor, Educopia, could not provide access to the portfolios in order for them to be graded.
To be fair, some portfolios were graded in certain locations before the infrastructure was overloaded and all grading stopped.
This means trained reviewers sat in rooms around the state looking at blank screens instead of assessing portfolios. It means they were fed sandwiches and then told to go home. It means they were promised $500 for the lost day.
Now, those same reviewers are awaiting further guidance. Ostensibly, they will be provided access to Educopia on Monday and have one full week to grade the portfolios. Additionally, Educopia has promised to pay each reviewer an additional $250.
Here’s how the situation was described in a letter from the Tennessee Department of Education:
Thank you for your willingness to partner with us yesterday to review portfolio collections. We understand that you gave up your time to work with us, so your gracious attitude while we navigated Educopia’s technology issues is greatly appreciated. Our intention was for you to have an enjoyable, collaborative opportunity to engage in a streamlined review process. While Educopia was aware that we would be reviewing across the state and was on call to provide support, the architecture they put into place to provide us access to the collections was flawed. Therefore, our connectivity was hit and miss. The CEO has issued an apology
If you’re a Pre-K/K teacher waiting for your portfolio to be reviewed (again), you’ll have to keep waiting.
Of course, you’ll also soon be introduced to the new Portfolium platform. Maybe it will work. Maybe not.
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport