Williamson County School Board member Eric Welch offers this commentary on TNReady and vouchers:
HAPPY TN READY WEEK!!! Are you excited???
Oh wow…..that’s a lot of one finger salutes….😟.
So you’re saying you aren’t a fan of the state’s mandated TN Ready testing and your satisfaction levels so far are akin to the Comcast customer service line?
Well you may want to stop reading now because the fact is that under the proposed Voucher bills currently before the Tennessee legislature, those tests are just for your kids. Those using public dollars for private for-profit schools in the form of vouchers wouldn’t be subject to the same apples-to-apples testing requirement.
According to Chalkbeat:
“Students receiving education savings accounts — a newer kind of voucher now under consideration by the Tennessee General Assembly — would have to take half as many tests as their counterparts in public schools.
The retreat in accountability for a proposed pilot program even has some of the new Republican governor’s supporters scratching their heads.
“I would think that we would want the recipients to go through the full battery of assessments that students in public schools would receive,” said freshman Rep. Charlie Baum, a Republican from Murfreesboro, of the need to “compare apples to apples” in measuring the program’s success.”
Here’s a link to the TN Department of Education’s page on testing times for various grade levels.
The information on the site indicates that students in 3rd grade can expect to spend 5 hours and 45 minutes testing. Of course, this all happens over a week, and means students effectively lose days of instructional time.
This year, many Tennessee students are taking tests on pencil and paper since our TNDOE can’t predict when hackers or dump trucks will attack the integrity of our state’s tests.
Next year, as we shift to a new vendor, we’ll also see students take pencil and paper tests. Then, back to online TNReady for testing in the 2020-21 academic year.
No word from our new Commissioner of Education on amending our state’s ESSA application to change testing formats or move away from annual testing altogether.
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