Teachers get choice to include TNReady evaluations after system failure

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The State of Tennessee has proposed not using this year's TNReady test results for teacher evaluations after the online student testing system crashed statewide Feb. 8 during the first day of assessments.

Under the proposal, teachers can choose to include or not include student results from the 2015-16 TNReady assessment in his or her evaluation score. Most Tennessee educator evaluations have three main components: qualitative data, which includes principal observations and always counts for at least half of an educator's evaluation; a student achievement measure that the educator chooses; and a student growth score, which usually comprises 35 percent of the overall evaluation.

"Providing teachers with the flexibility to exclude first-year TNReady data from their growth score over the course of this transition will both directly address many concerns we have heard and strengthen our partnership with educators while we move forward with a new assessment," said Department of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen. "Regardless of the test medium, TNReady will measure skills that the real world will require of our students."

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says he supports the additional flexibility for teachers as the state continues the transition to TNReady.

"Tennessee students are showing historic progress," said Haslam. "The state made adjustments to teacher evaluation and accountability last year to account for the transition to an improved assessment fully aligned with Tennessee standards, which we know has involved a tremendous amount of work on the part of our educators. Given recent, unexpected changes in the administration of the new assessment, we want to provide teachers with additional flexibility for this first year's data."

The governor says he will work with the General Assembly on specific language and a plan to move the proposal through the legislative process.

Tennessee Education Association President Barbara Gray issued the following statement on the proposal Wednesday:

"TEA applauds Gov. Haslam on his proposal to give teachers the flexibility to not use TNReady test data in their 2015-16 evaluations. It is encouraging to see the governor listen to the widespread calls from educators, parents and local school boards for a one year moratorium for TNReady data in teacher evaluations."

Revised Tennessee Ready testing for several Tennessee Schools will begin February 22.

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about TNReady.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.