Following the failure of TNReady on Day One, Commissioner Candice McQueen announced a simple solution: Tests will now be administered on pencil and paper. Except, it turns out, it’s not so simple. What if the paper tests don’t arrive on time?
The Dickson Herald reports:
Dickson County Schools have delayed administering the paper version of the state’s new TN Ready standardized tests until March 7 after a delay in receiving the testing materials, the schools director said.
Schools Director Dr. Danny Weeks alerted parents to the issue in a SchoolReach phone message and he also discussed the matter with the county School Board on Thursday night.
Educators and parents had prepared for administering the paper tests on Monday. However, Weeks said the school system had not yet received confirmation the print testing materials had yet shipped Thursday.
The ongoing saga of the TNReady challenges reminds me of the time the legislature pulled Tennessee out of PARCC just as we were preparing to have our first year with the Common Core aligned tests. Instead of a year without a test, we administered another year of TCAP — a test not aligned with our state’s current standards, and thus not an accurate indicator of student mastery or teacher impact.
Governor Haslam and Commissioner McQueen have announced that teachers and students alike won’t be held accountable for test results this year, but what about just taking the year off and getting it right?
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So, if the tests won’t count in any way for students, why should they even bother trying? Some might, but the fact is that kids have been over-tested and are still over-tested. They know that most of these tests mean nothing. Even the big End of Year test means nothing more than a number. Students can’t talk about the test with their teacher. They can’t see which questions they got wrong or right. Kids are burnt out on these tests. I don’t even know if a year would be enough time to fix the problem of shabby tests.