Failed TNReady tests could bring legal action

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tennessee lawmakers grilled the state education commissioner Wednesday after a disastrous roll out of TNReady assessments for students--a roll out the state says was deliberately attacked.

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen told lawmakers she would reach out to the Davidson County District Attorney to ask for an investigation into the attack that delayed testing for hours Tuesday, which comes as criticism from lawmakers grows.

"Where we are with the testing? We are running into hiccups, but we've all worked together through the hiccups and moved on. You don't call for the resignation of a commissioner that's given four years of her life to this," Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis) said.

"We've been transparent with what we know and when we know it," McQueen said.
Monday, students statewide couldn't log in initially to start the assessment.
Tuesday, the state said its Minnesota-based vendor Questar possibly experienced a deliberate attack to its systems.
Now, we've learned a criminal investigation could follow.
"We have failed, failed, failed, failed this testing debacle. It's not working," Rep. Terri Lynn (R-Lancaster) said.
"Credibility is a major factor since this is not our first time in this situation," Rep. Johnnie Turner (D-Memphis) said.
"I don't think we're really holding ourselves accountable," Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) said.
McQueen said the state is talking to its attorneys over possible legal action with the vendor Questar--whose annual contract is roughly $30 million for the testing services.
Other states Questar serves had issues as well.
McQueen said there is no evidence student data has been compromised, but the department acknowledges two days of delays have taken their toll on parents, students, and educators.
"I'm going to humbly say that our districts are phenomenal the way they communicate with their students about how to regroup," McQueen said.
Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson said Tuesday that he'd lost faith in the state system and had concerns about the reliability of the tests moving forward.
There have been no reported issues with TNReady testing Wednesday.

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