Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students

            

Legislators look for solutions on the future of testing

TEA survey shows support for alternatives

Several initiatives are moving through the Tennessee General Assembly aiming to change the existing testing regime in the state. 

One of the key bills is HB383/SB488 filed by Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) and Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), which would allow districts to administer the ACT, ACT Aspire or SAT tests as an approved testing alternative in math and English language arts for high school students.

Many legislators are more concerned than ever about the repeated TNReady failures over the years. TEA has been raising awareness of the persistent problems, loss of data and problems with credibility plaguing the TNReady test. 

Educators across the state overwhelmingly support dramatic changes to the testing regime. 

A recent TEA survey showed teachers in all grades support scrapping TNReady and replacing it with a nationally recognized assessment system. 

When asked if they had a choice in state testing systems for end-of-course exams in their subject area, 87 percent of high school teachers said they would choose the ACT suite of assessments. Eighty-three percent of high school teachers rejected the notion that TNReady accurately measures student knowledge and Tennessee standards. 

The same sentiment prevails across all grade levels, according to the survey, which went viral on social media and garnered more than 5,000 responses in a week. 

Ninety-eight percent of Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers want to eliminate the current portfolio system or make fundamental changes with better teacher input. Among middle school teachers, most would like to see expanded use of benchmark testing used for RTI, followed by ACT. 

“We are tired of the failed test telling us we are failing. Please stop the madness!” said one of more than 1,800 teachers who chose to comment at the end of the survey. 

The next step is to tell our elected officials what we know. Please register for the TEA Civication March 5 - April 16 and use your teacher voice at the Capitol in Nashville. 

Image above: High school teachers were asked, “If you  had a choice in state testing systems for end-of-course exams in your subject area, which would you choose?" Eighty-seven percent of those teachers said they would choose the ACT suite of assessments.

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