The Shelby County Commission last night unanimously passed a resolution calling on state lawmakers to suspend use of TNReady data for student grades and teacher evaluations this year.
Here’s what they had to say:
RESOLUTION URGING THE TENNESSEE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, GOVERNOR BILL HASLAM, AND THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO ELIMINATE THE TENNESSEE READY SCORES AS A COMPONENT OF TEACHER EVALUATIONS AND STUDENT SCORES. SPONSORED BY COMMISIONER DAVID REAVES
WHEREAS, the State of Tennessee has invested heavily in the development of educational standards known as Tennessee (TN) Ready, and
WHEREAS, standardized testing has become the cornerstone of measuring mastery of the TN educational standards, and
WHEREAS, TN Ready should be meant to be diagnostic in nature and help teachers and administrators understand and develop an educational plan to help students close the achievement gap in proficiency; and
WHEREAS, the TN Ready test has become a final exam for children instead of a continual diagnostic view; and
WHEREAS, the TN General Assembly has chosen to hold teachers accountable by linking student performance on the TN Ready exam to a teacher’s evaluation; and
WHEREAS the unintended consequence of such action has led to teachers teaching children to score high on a test versus teaching real mastery of subject matter; and
WHEREAS, while giving off the appearance of a better education, this type of teaching to the test behavior actually limits the amount of quality content in deference to test taking strategies; and
WHEREAS, the TN General Assembly has now also tied student scores to the results of standardized testing creating an unfair playing field for students and their college scholarship prospects with private school students who do not count standardized tests as part of their grade point average (GPA); and
WHEREAS, parents, students, and teachers are all impacted by the State of TN placing so much emphasis on testing instead of instruction; and
WHEREAS, record numbers of quality teachers are leaving the teaching profession and school districts are struggling to recruit and retain quality teachers due to the TN standards imposed in regards to standardized testing.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SHELBY COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, that we urge the TN General Assembly to suspend the use of TN Ready Results as part of the teacher evaluations and as part of the students’ GPAs.
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