Lawmakers move to halt negative impact of TNReady tests

NASHVILLE, TN (WMC) - Tennessee lawmakers took direct action after a fourth-straight day of problems with TNReady.

The Tennessee House passed an amendment that removes any negative impact from this year's TNReady testing failures for all schools, students, and teachers.

House members said they held the the budget hostage, putting it on hold in order to get this measure through first.

"Once again TNReady failed to deliver. Once again TNReady is not ready for the, what, fourth- or third-consecutive year in a row," Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis) said.

On Thursday, state legislators took action by unanimously passing an amendment to protect schools, teachers, and students from repeated TNReady testing issues.
"It was important that we make sure that the responsibility falls on the people who are responsible. That is not the teachers, students, parents, and schools," Parkinson said.
School districts across the state experienced issues with its students submitting their online tests Thursday.

In Shelby County, Arlington Community Schools said one of its 11th-graders was unable to submit the online U.S. History exam.

Lakeland School System saw some of the worst problems with TNReady this year.

The district reported widespread issues with students unable to submit their tests, and the district said it's not certain if complete data from each test was submitted.

"We don't know what the results are going to be. We don't even know who is going to be able to deliver results. We don't know if there is going to be any results as a matter of fact," Parkinson said.

The amendment to House Bill 19-81 prevents the TNReady scores from putting schools on the priority list, prevents teacher evaluations from being harmed, and will not impact students final grades.

However, Parkinson said test results may be used in the event they are good and help the student, teacher, or school.

"If you want to use those results in regard to teacher performance or in regard to your school or the students final grade, they can use them if they so choose from 0 to 15 percent," he said.

Ultimately, Parkinson believes this year's TNReady tests should all be thrown out, and the state should request a waiver from the Department of Education.

State education officials said that there appears to have been a cyber attack on the computer system of the testing company that administers the online test.

Despite that, testing resumed.

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