Because of repeated delays that resulted in uncertainty and anger across the state, the Tennessee Department of Education has halted its contract with the company that runs the state's new TNReady standardized test.
At a news conference, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the termination of the state's contract with Measurement, Inc., according to Jason Gonzales, reporting for The Tennessean.
Although the testing will continue in high schools, grades 3 through 8 will have their tests suspended for this school year because the company was not able to deliver paper tests in February when problems with Measurement, Inc.'s online system occurred.
On Wednesday morning, every district in the state continued to wait for some of the 3-8 materials, of which 2 million documents were still not dispatched.
McQueen said that in spite of fully cooperating with the vendor's system, Measurement, Inc. has disappointed parents, teachers, and students. In the grades where the test was unable to be administered, students will not receive a performance status.
Tests for high school students will be scored, and Part I tests that were taken in March will also be utilized.
State education leaders remain focused on using online assessment and will work with other state departments to find a new vendor, but it is uncertain as to whether tests will be taken online next year.
Districts that received the materials for grades 3-8 have the option to continue the testing. Knox County Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre announced that he was suspending all assessments in grades 3-8. Blount County Schools are doing the same, reports WATE-TV.
"Measurement Inc.'s performance is deeply disappointing. We've exhausted every option in problem solving with this vendor to assist them in getting these tests delivered," McQueen said. "Districts have exceeded their responsibility and obligation to wait for grade 3-8 materials, and we will not ask districts to continue waiting on a vendor that has repeatedly failed us."
Still, added McQueen, there has been substantial growth in the state over the past several years. Key reasons for this success are higher standards and increased accountability, reports The Chattanoogan.
The work that has been done toward an aligned assessment, she continued, is crucial to ensure that Tennessee's children are meeting educators high expectations and are progressing on their path to college and careers.
WATN-TV quoted a statement from Shelby County Schools that said:
"The constant changes with regard to this year's TNReady testing have been challenging, but we applaud the Tennessee Department of Education for keeping us updated along the way."
SCS stated that although the examination time has been turbulent, the County is grateful to the Department for allowing students, teachers, and districts the flexibility needed to make the best of a disappointing situation.