(NASHVILLE) Yes, Tennessee dropped the controversial required testing of students during this pandemic year. However, how could we have included the tests with what was happening (or not happening) in our schools?
Plus, wasn't there a problem with the government approved tester getting their system to operate properly? After several tries, was not the Tennessee system put on hold?
COVID-19...Are Challenges Over?
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Department of Education adopted a policy to suspend all federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.
It’s logical to think that there may be other areas needing more attention during the coming school year.
In fact, most school districts in Tennessee are anticipating another unusual year. They will be deciding whether to operate school systems in the traditional manner with students in a class room, or perhaps some forms of remote learning (virtual or internet teaching), or a blend of both.
We are fortunate that the leadership in both the Murfreesboro City Schools and Rutherford County Schools are better than other systems across the Volunteer State. In fact, state education leaders are concerned with the uncertainty of the level of preparedness by our school districts.
To Test or Not To Test?
Professional Educators of Tennessee COO Audrey Shores said, "If the state does decide to move forward with testing…gathering data on how student learning is impacted by COVID-19 and changes to their learning environments, we believe that it is imperative that it is time to finally end the high-stakes connection between statewide assessments and educator accountability measures.”
Shores commented, “Our membership generally believes that Tennessee’s assessment program is not serving student needs, especially this academic year. Most importantly, teacher accountability measures that are tied to state assessments will be a serious issue if the state moves forward with testing.”
Neighboring Georgia has already submitted a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education to suspend standardized testing for 2020-2021 as well.
This issue may well become a campaign issue in the 2020 federal elections, as well as with state elections.
What Is Your Opinion?
WGNS would like to hear what you think. Are you “FOR” or “AGAINST” this nationwide assessment testing program? E-mail your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.