As Governor-elect Bill Lee prepares to take office, the Tennessee Parent Teacher Association (PTA) outlines a position on state assessments, including calling for flexibility at the high school level to choose tests outside the TNReady framework.
Here’s the full position statement as adopted on November 3rd:
After continued problems with the electronic administration of standardized tests, the Tennessee PTA board of managers calls for the Tennessee Department of Education to establish reliable administration of online tests through proven piloted or implemented testing methods and platforms that do not impede the learning environment of students and educators.
The Tennessee PTA board of managers believes in testing accountability; however, missed class time and the lack of new material not introduced is a deterrent to student achievement and to the social emotional well-being of students and educators. We continue to support and educate parents to advocate for their children to be successful in school and in life.
The Tennessee PTA board of managers:
• Believes that high-quality assessments provide valuable information to parents, teachers, community and school leaders about the growth and achievement of their students.
• Considers that a test should be one of multiple tools used in a comprehensive assessment system to evaluate and assess student growth and learning.
• Believes the current methods in grades 3-8 TCAP and high school EOC (End-ofCourse) assessments as administered causes loss of quality instruction time in the classroom.
• Calls for the Tennessee Department of Education to establish an annual assessment that is aligned with relevant and rigorous state standards in English/Language Arts (ELA), Math, Science, and Social Studies. These assessments should also be aligned to multiple tools that elicit timely feedback to be shared with the students, educators, and parents.
• Believes it is important to keep the testing window narrow enough to ensure all Tennessee students are adequately assessed in a timely manner.
• Believes that school districts should have the flexibility to choose high school standardized assessments that align with the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks and meet Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) criteria for determining students to be college and career-ready.
The Tennessee PTA board of managers acknowledges the effort of the Tennessee Department of Education’s Third Task Force on Student Testing and Assessment, and is confident that with a collaborative and transparent process the Tennessee Department of Education will regain the trust and support of students, educators and parents.
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