Tennessee governor to stop in Shelby County as part of school testing listening tour
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is coming to Shelby County as part of a statewide tour to hear ideas to improve the state’s problem-plagued elementary and secondary school online testing process.
Haslam announced Tuesday that the TNReady listening tour will include six stops statewide for teachers, administrators, and technology and assessment coordinators to discuss recent problems administering the tests and offer ideas for improvements.
“Tennessee’s unprecedented improvement in education is the result of high academic standards and an assessment that measures knowledge of those standards,” Haslam said. “Without aligned assessments, we don’t know where our students stand and where we need to improve. We finally have a test that is aligned to Tennessee’s strong academic standards, and I don’t want recent assessment delivery issues to cause us to lose sight of why we have these tests in the first place. Delivering the test without disruption is essential and we must get it right.”
Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen will attend each tour stop. Haslam said ex-Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents executive director Wayne Miller will lead the tour as a paid adviser for the governor’s office.
The first stop is in Knoxville on August 24. The date for the Shelby County stop has not been announced at this time.
Because of the testing issues, the state charged $2.5 million in liquidated damages to vendor Questar. McQueen said the state hopes to contract with a new vendor by the spring.