Shelby County parents express concerns about TNReady test

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some Shelby County parents are concerned TNReady won't be fair for their children in special education classes.

They say the state's guidelines are too generic and cause confusion.

"Please don't set these children up for failure," said parent Tatrinaes Broady.

Parents told WREG the state has yet to contact them about how their child would be tested next month.

Instead, they found out at a Westhaven Elementary PTO meeting.

"We're always the last to know what's going on when it comes to testing," said parent Yana Bradshaw.

School officials reportedly told them every student would be tested, even if they are non-verbal and would use their eyes to indicate their answer.

"A lot of our special needs students have involuntary eye movement as it is. A lot of our Autistic children won't even look at you in the eye," said PTO president Bridget Bradley.

A spokesperson with the Tennessee Department of Education told us federal law requires students take a state exam.

"Students with significant cognitive disabilities take an alternative assessment," the spokesperson said in an email

They added, "We offer a variety of accommodations for students with disabilities on the traditional TNReady exam, which are used based on their IEP."

"You can't even get them to sit still let alone listen to a teacher read a story and ask them questions," said Bradshaw.

Parents told us they plan on fighting this until they can get better clarification or change.

"Nashville, come down and talk to us. Have a panel of parents that we can express things. We know our children better than you do," said Broady.

WREG reached out to Shelby County Schools for a comment. They told us they are awaiting more information on the proper process.