MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The leaders of the state’s two largest school districts sent a joint letter to Governor Bill Haslam expressing “no confidence” in its standardized test, TN Ready.
In the letter, Shawn Joseph with the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and Dorsey Hopson of Shelby County Schools stated the public opinion and trust of the test has fallen following “years of repeated implementation failures and missteps” by the vendors.
“We are challenged to explain to teachers, parents and students why they must accept the results of a test that has not been effectively deployed,” they said. “When basic delivery is botched, it is difficult to trust the fundamental integrity of the underlying assessment.”
The pair also noted that both districts have spent millions of dollars over the years to acquire the technology that would be necessary for the testing, only to see it never come to fruition. That taxpayer money, they said, could have been used for professional development, teacher salaries and other desperately needed resources.
In response, they asked Governor Haslam and the state to create a group tasked specifically with sorting out all the problems. They also said the state should be responsible for helping each district replace the “soon-to-be obsolete testing technology.”
In June, the Tennessee Board of Education announced it won’t require TN Ready to be administered online for every student next year.
The state’s contract with the current online vendor -Questar – ends next year.