The spectacular failure that is Tennessee’s statewide testing system for students (TNReady) just continues to fail. So much so that when districts announce that TNReady scores won’t be factored into student grades yet AGAIN, it’s not even a major news story.
Sure, the state pays in excess of $100 million for the test and yes, teachers are evaluated based on the results, but the test is a colossal waste of time year after year after year.
Here’s a recent announcement from Sumner County Schools about this year’s test scores:
Earlier this week, we were informed by the Tennessee Department of Education that the TNReady scores for third, fourth and fifth grade were incorrect for several elementary schools and were scored again by the state. The new scores were not returned before final report cards were sent home on Thursday. TNReady scores for grades 6–8 were received 3.5 school days before report cards were issued.State law requires TNReady testing to count a minimum of 15% of a student’s grade. School Board Policy 4.600 states that in the event of testing modifications by the state, such as a delay in scores being returned to the district, Sumner County Schools can waive the 15% TNReady grade. Due to this issue in testing, we will not include the TNReady score in your student’s final report card. Your student’s grade will be calculated by averaging the final grade from the first and second semester.In the fall, you will receive your child’s full TNReady scores
And here’s a notice from Metro Nashville Public Schools about TNReady:
I’m sure similar notices went out in other districts across the state.
So, the state spends millions on the test, schools spend hours prepping for it, students spend days taking the exams, and then — NOTHING. No score that is useful for grades, no return of data in a timely fashion.
In fact, TNReady has failed so often and in so many ways, the clown show is now just accepted as an annual rite of passage. We’ll give the test because the state can’t imagine NOT testing every year and then we’ll fully expect there to be one or several problems. A surprising TNReady year would be one in which there were no problems with administration AND the results came back on time.
It’s bad public policy when the bare minimum acceptable outcome IS the surprising outcome. Alas, that’s the case with TNReady.
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