Are Tennessee Students Over-Tested? Task Force Named To Find Out | Nashville Public Radio

Are Tennessee Students Over-Tested? Task Force Named To Find Out

Mar 2, 2015

The amount of testing in Tennessee’s public schools is under scrutiny, with the state's new education commissioner naming a task force Monday to complete a review by this summer. 

Parents frequently tell commission Candice McQueen that there is "too much testing," according to an education department press release. 

“In places that I’ve been across the state, I’m hearing that we have a lot of assessment, we have lots of data, but I’m not sure we’re using it for the purpose it’s potentially intended, or we don’t know what it’s being used for,” McQueen tells WPLN during a tour of Stewarts Creek High in Smyrna.

Some of those tests are just for practice, McQueen says, but they still feel high-stakes for students and take time away from instruction.

As Tennessee moves to a new test next year called TNReady and gets rid of TCAP, she says it's a good time to also review how much testing is taking place.

The 17-person task force includes legislators, superintendents, principals and teachers, along with one parent and one student.

“Assessments can be powerful tools in ensuring the work we’re doing in education is effective and that we are gaining a return on our taxpayer investments,” Senate Education Committee chair and task force member Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) said in a written statement.

No outspoken critics of testing were included on the panel.