The Tennessee Department of Education recently announced the creation and deployment of a TNReady accountability corp to serve as the state’s eyes, ears, and thermometer on the ground. The newly minted group, TNReady Ambassadors, consists of 37 classroom teachers and testing coordinators who will be trained in all things TNReady and will “assist with planning and presenting professional development across the state; evaluate test day materials for usability and clarity; and review test questions, content, and forms, among other duties to improve the assessment program.”
The issues surrounding TNReady are legendary and one cannot speak or write about the state’s test scores from 2016 through 2018 without an asterisk denoting statewide issues and whether the test was taken online or with a good ol’ number 2 pencil. Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen has endured her fair share of time in front of the legislative firing squad and the new ambassador program is no doubt an effort to quiet the calls to eliminate TNReady as well as her commissioner-ship. Much respect to the commissioner for marshaling these changes and making tough decisions.
Interestingly, the best news happens to be the very last sentence of the release and is possibly one of the most challenging shifts of the tempestuous TNReady tale. Questar, the vendor who cried “cyberattack” during the most recent testing mess, will be replaced in time for the 2019-20 test. Not quite soon enough, but I’ll take it. In the meantime, a third-party-something will be retained to evaluate the embattled vendor’s embattled product for the 2018-19 school year. Edu-watchers stand by.
Here’s to accepting responsibility, recalibrating, and moving forward.
We couldn’t get one ambassador from Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools?