State, local educators confident for end of year testing despite TNReady setback last year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Statewide school testing begins next week and some parents and schools have concerns how this year will go after last year's incident with TNReady.

The TNReady test ended up not getting completely sent out and the scores ended up not being counted.

But at Germantown Elementary School, teachers said they're ready for the final tests of this year.

“We start preparing the day they walk in," said second-grade teacher Kathy Bousson.

Bousson said last year's mishap with TNReady was disappointing.

“But you know what, one thing you learn in a classroom: When things go great, 'Yay,'" she said. "When things don’t go great, you just monitor and adjust and keep going.”

State education leaders say they expect this year to run smoother -- noting they’ve changed technology companies, shortened the state test and are phasing into online assessments.

They said the test goes beyond memorization.

“We’ve made a shift with this test," said Dr. Candice McQueen, Commissioner of Education, TN. "A kill and drill prep or trying to walk through multiple choice questions is not what’s going to ultimately help our students have the success that we all anticipate.”

At Germantown Elementary, they said they’ve put an emphasis on common core math this year and a tailored education for every student.

“We don’t teach to a test," said Bousson. "So we taught our kids. We're ready. If it shows up -- great, our kids are ready.”

Students also said they’re feeling confident.

“I feel prepared," said Germantown fifth grader Cullen Stennet.

"I feel prepared, like I know I studied and I think I’m going to do good," said fifth grader Zion Neely.

The TNReady testing for Shelby County Schools begins next week and goes through the beginning of May.

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