Tennessee Education Commissioner Says Blame Vendor, Not Testing, For TNReady Woes | Nashville Public Radio

Tennessee Education Commissioner Says Blame Vendor, Not Testing, For TNReady Woes

Apr 28, 2016

This has been a complicated and frustrating year for state testing in Tennessee. A failed computer format led to a printed version of the test, shipping delays and missed deadlines.

This week the Tennessee Department of Education parted ways with its vendor, Measurement Inc., and that is where the state would like to keep the blame.


Education Commissioner Candice McQueen defended the test, which changed this year as the state began pushing away from Common Core standards and the related PARCC test.


"We believe this test is a better test," McQueen said this week. "We have not been able to deliver it in a mode that was appropriate with this vendor. That was not reliable."


In fact TNReady was so unreliable that the state suspended the remaining testing for grades 3 through 8 on Wednesday. Most students simply won’t be taking it.

Although McQueen made it clear that this is a problem with logistics, not testing, parents like Lyn Hoyt believe the department should share the blame.

"The department of education constantly puts a smile on their face and says, ‘we’re TNReady!’ — while these problems have been ongoing," she says.

Hoyt is the mother of three students in Metro Nashville Public Schools. She said the state was not realistic about how long it would take to introduce an entirely new test.

To her it felt like her kids were "product testers" when they should be learners.

"We’re at a point now with the testing — it’s frustrated my children [where] they don’t care, they don’t want to do well." Hoyt says.

The state is promising that next year will be better. But parents like Hoyt say it might take a while to earn back their trust.