At the Tennessee Board of Education meeting last week, Commissioner McQueen announced the department's proposal to phase TNReady scores into high school student grades over the next three years as the state continues to transition to a new, more rigorous test that is better aligned to breadth and depth of the standards in Tennessee.
"We want to support our teachers and students as they become comfortable with this tougher assessment that is tied to our higher expectations," McQueen said. "As we have been saying for several years, we expect scores to dip as we set a new baseline aligned with the expectations of our colleges and employers, but we also know scores will rebound and rise over time. This more rigorous assessment will better support our ultimate goals: providing better information about student progress so we can ensure all our children are ready for each step on their academic journey."
The phase-in proposal for high school students is part of the state's High School Policy and was presented to the State Board on first reading today. The proposal phases in TNReady results for student grades in high school as follows:
- 2016-17: 10 percent of final grade
- 2017-18: 15 percent of final grade
- 2018-19: 15-25 percent (district decision within range)
The State Board's second and final reading of the proposal will be at the January meeting, during which the Board will vote on its approval.
Last year, the State Board approved a policy that allowed scores to be excluded from students' grades if results were not available within five days of the end of the school year. Because there is an extended scoring process in the first year of any assessment, no TNReady scores factored into students' grades in 2015-16.
TNReady was suspended last spring for students in grades 3-8, so since the 2016-17 will be the first year that students in grades 3-8 take the full assessment, scores will be delayed for these students and unlikely to factor into their final report cards. However, because it will be the second year for high school End of Course assessments, results will be returned on a regular, early summer timeline that would be closer to the end of the school year. Today's proposal aims to reduce anxiety those students may feel about the impact TNReady could have on their final grades as they adjust to the higher expectations of the new assessment.