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News & Press: Assessments & Standards

TN Calls It Quits with Measurement Inc.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Professional Educators of Tennessee
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 


TN CALLS IT QUITS WITH MEASUREMENT INC.  Download Article

 

The relationship between Tennessee and Measurement Inc. has been a dysfunctional one, with teachers and students bearing the brunt of the consequences. In a show of strong leadership, TN Dept of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced today that the contract with Measurement Inc. is terminated, effective immediately. The department insists that they fulfilled their obligations under the contract, but the most recent delay caused by the vendor’s inability to meet deadlines left them with no choice.


“Measurement Inc.’s performance is deeply disappointing. We’ve exhausted every option in problem solving with this vendor to assist them in getting these tests delivered,” Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “Districts have exceeded their responsibility and obligation to wait for grade 3-8 materials, and we will not ask districts to continue waiting on a vendor that has repeatedly failed us.”


In addition, the department announced that no district will be required to administer Part 2 of TNReady in grades 3-8. If a district has received a full complement of materials for a 3-8 subject they may choose to give that part of the test, but will receive limited feedback on the results. High school and all end-of-course testing will continue as planned.


So what does this mean for schools and teachers? Basically, any measure that depends on test scores will not be calculated for the 2015-2016 school years, which will leave a gap in those that depend on multiple years’ data. Adjustments will have to be made to future calculations, though exactly how that will be handled is not yet clear. For now, no data from test for grades 3-8 will be included on the state report card, no Reward Schools will be identified from this school year, and Priority School lists will not be calculated.


The new law signed by Governor Haslam this month that gives teachers the option of including assessment results within the student growth component of their evaluations this year provides some guidance as to how the effect on evaluations will be handled. Under the new law, TVAAS data from prior years will still factor into a teachers score; if they do not have data from previous years, the qualitative component of their evaluation will increase. If they chose an achievement measure based on TVAAS and that data is now unavailable, they will have to choose a new achievement measure. The department plans to release more details and guidance regarding these aspects soon.


“We have already been hearing from teachers regarding their disappointment that an assessment they have spent huge amounts of time and energy preparing for, and in some cases had high hopes would help boost their scores this year, is now a non-factor,” said Audrey Shores, COO of Professional Educators of Tennessee. “While we have concerns about the negative repercussions that the past year’s testing failures may have on teachers and how this gap year will affect them in the future, we commend Commissioner McQueen’s proactive leadership and commitment to transparency throughout the process.”

 

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Audrey Shores is the COO of Professional Educators of Tennessee, a non-partisan teacher association headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author and the association are properly cited. For more information on this subject or any education issue please contact Professional Educators of Tennessee. To schedule an interview please contact communications@proedtn.org or call 1-800-471-4867 ext.102.

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