SCS will not include TNReady scores in final grades

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Schools officials said they currently do not have scores for students, therefore they will not include the scores in the students' final grades.

Report cards will be issued on time, but they will not include (or take into account) TNReady test scores.

Once TNReady scores are back, SCS said they will be used in teacher evaluations and school and district accountability. The scores will also be used to help evaluate what strategies appear to be working and where SCS can make adjustments.

SCS said families should receive copies of their child's test scores as soon as reports are available and can be distributed by schools.

A spokesperson with the Tennessee Department of Education said all schools were given a timeline showing when they would receive test scores. The dates are all contingent on when the school district submits the test scores--meaning state representatives said the scores have not been delayed.

The state said it was aware that many schools would not be including TNReady testing in students' final grades. In fact, that possibility is written into state law.

"State statute and state board rule provides for district choice on whether to include TNReady in students' grades if scores are not received within five days of the end of the school year. State law empowers local choice in this decision. If a district is eligible for this flexibility, they may choose whether to include scores for all students, incorporate scores within some grades or courses but not others, or to exclude scores altogether. It is also a district's choice whether to hold report cards in order to include raw score data. Districts who fall within that flexibility have made different decisions."

This year, TNReady used paper and pencil testing after the online testing system failed in 2016.

"We haven't been able to get it right," Thomas Weber, parent and education blogger, said. "There hasn't been a single year in the last four years that we have managed to get testing right."

Weber has researched and followed the issues with the state tests for the past four years. He hoped the changes made to this year's test would eliminate last year's breakdown with TNReady.

"Last year we had the whole collapse," Weber said. "The whole fiasco where the test didn't work, we gave some. It's the vendor's fault. No, it's the state's fault. We ended up with no data or corrupted data for that year."

Weber said problems yet again with the test need to be a wake up call to get the issue fixed.

"At some point, we really have to look at this and say what's going on if we can't do this right," Weber said. "But we are basing the way we grade schools, the way we grade teachers, based on these tests."

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