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Tennessee Continues Long Journey to Implementing Effective Assessments

Tennessee Continues Long Journey to Implementing Effective Assessments

Tennessee is determined to making testing a more effective means of student assessment, and state efforts have resulted in significant changes to state testing for next school year.

According to The Tennessean, grade 3-8 students will spend "about three-and-a-half hours less time spent on state-mandated standardized testing each year. High school students will also see a cut in year-end tests with a typical 11th-grader seeing about the same reduction in testing time.”

The change comes after Tennessee finalized a two-year, $60 million contract with Minnesota-based Questar Assessment

For now, Tennessee's students will be taking assessments the old-fashioned way via pen and pencil due to concerns over issues with online assessments; past attempts to switch assessments online have posed issues for the state in the past.

Earlier this year, in fact, an attempt to roll-out a new assessment developed in partnership with North Carolina-based Measurement Inc. failed miserably after the online platform was inaccessible to schools across the state, said the Tennessee Chalkbeat.

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen was forced to cancel the online assessments and subsequently terminated the state’s contract with Measurement Inc.

She is hopeful that the new partnership with Questar Assessment will help get the state back on track to offering effective and meaningful assessments.

"With a new vendor and a culmination to the issues that plagued Tennessee last year, McQueen said she hopes for a reboot of the conversation around testing, which has grown less supportive. She's continued to apologize for the last year,” The Tennessean said.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

7/15/2016

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