For the first time, department eliminates two TNReady exams

NASHVILLE — Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced today the approval of recommendations that will reduce student testing in 2018-19. The recommendations are the first to be released by the state’s third Task Force on Student Testing and Assessment – which includes educators, parents, and education leaders from across the state – and they resulted from months of analysis and discussion, as well as additional surveys of high school teachers and parents. 

In addition to today’s recommendations, Commissioner McQueen also announced additional ways the state will further reduce testing in Tennessee next year. Altogether, these steps will reduce the number and length of student tests and streamline the assessment administration.

The task force’s recommendations for 2018-19, which Commissioner McQueen affirms, are to:

1. Eliminate the TNReady chemistry end-of-course exam; instead, the department will provide a chemistry test form as an option for local administration and scoring

2. Eliminate the TNReady English III end-of-course exam; additionally, the department will prioritize adding a statewide dual credit English composition option that will be available beginning in 2019-20

3. Collaborate with the Tennessee Board of Regents to use the TNReady U.S. History end-of-course exam as a dual credit exam and help students earn college credit from their TNReady score

In addition, next year the department will:

4. Eliminate the stand-alone field test for at least the next two years

5. Reduce time on the TNReady English language arts exam in grades 3 and 4 to make it a combined 78 minutes shorter; this will not impact the ability to generate TVAAS, and the department will still generate scores across all four performance levels

While Tennessee students spend less than 1 percent of the school year taking state-required assessments, the department has taken steps over the past three years to reduce the burden of testing on students and provide a more positive and efficient assessment experience. In addition to the task force’s recommendations for removal, they also re-affirmed the value and need for the current TNReady exams in grades 3-8, as well as the other end-of-course tests.