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Tennessee General Assembly Proposed TNReady Assessment Waiver

After taking into consideration the cautionary closures of all schools through March 31st to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the recent tornados which disrupted many school calendars, the Tennessee General Assembly is set to pass bipartisan bills that would relieve schools of their mandatory TNReady assessment requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. 

A statement released by the Tennessee Department of Education underscored the need for this unusual measure “to ensure that no school districts, schools, school district employees, or students are adversely impacted by school closures, student absenteeism, or other hardships related to COVID-19 and the tornadoes.” 

The proposed request asks that, “the Commissioner of Education, at the direction of the General Assembly, shall immediately waive the following requirements": 

  • 2019-20 spring administration of the TNReady and end-of-course assessments. (Schools and districts may still voluntarily administer these assessments).
  • Teacher evaluation growth scores based on 2019-20 assessments, including alternative growth scores such as portfolios, unless such growth scores result in a higher overall evaluation score for the teacher.
  • Student final grades being comprised in part by 2019-20 assessments, unless inclusion of assessment scores results in a higher final student grade.
  • School and district accountability based on 2019-20 assessments, including assignment of priority schools, unless data results in a higher letter grade for the school or district.
  • 180 instructional day requirement.
  • BEP-related attendance requirements to ensure that school districts and employees shall continue to receive full state funding despite any lengthy school closures.
  • The 11th grade postsecondary readiness assessment for the 2019-20 school year. (Schools and districts may still voluntarily administer this assessment).”

Additional information is available in this article by Chalkbeat.

If any further changes are made as this legislation moves through both chambers, we will let you know here, but we expect each of these provisions to be included as the legislature feels strongly about holding schools harmless at this time.  

We appreciate the leadership of our state’s officials as they continue to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our students, families and staff.  

Thank you,

The TCSC Team