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Bill could lower TN Ready weight on student grades

Xavier Smith • Mar 26, 2018 at 4:30 PM

The Senate Education Committee is set to hear a bill Wednesday that, if approved, could lower the impact of TN Ready exam scores on student grades.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville, would allow local school boards to develop a policy and determine the impact the annual state assessment would have on student final grades in third through eighth grades.

Currently, test scores make up 10 percent of the final grades for third- through eighth-grade students, which is set to increase to 15 percent next school year.

The bill would allow school boards to determine a percentage weight from zero to 25 percent for third through fifth grades, and 10-25 percent for sixth through eighth grades.

The bill would also require the state education department to return test scores in a timely matter to count toward final scores.

The bill follows a series of issues surrounding the TN Ready exam and its implementation, including last year, which saw more than 9,000 exams scored incorrectly by exam vendor Questar Assessment. .

Students in third through eighth grades were unable to take the exam the previous year, as the previous state exam assessor failed to launch an online test and was unable to deliver testing materials to districts in time.

The delays and miscues have prompted parents and administrators to question the reliability of the state assessment, as well as the impact it has on students and educators.

The inconsistency prompted Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright to declare the 2015-2016 school year a hold harmless year for TN Ready scores in the district.

 

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