Education Department Announces TNReady Changes, Will Recompete Testing Contract

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced several new steps today to improve the state’s TNReady student assessment, including recompeting the state’s current testing vendor contract. These improvements are being made after ongoing conversations with teachers, parents, education leaders, and policy-makers over the past several weeks and are aimed at addressing a number of areas of concern.

The multi-faceted changes announced today will immediately improve the state assessment—TNReady—and establish a longer-term framework for success. The steps being taken to improve TNReady include:

  • Releasing a new Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify the assessment vendor or vendors that can successfully administer the state test in 2019-20 and beyond
  • Amending the state’s current contract and relationship with Questar to improve the assessment experience in 2018-19
  • Adjusting the pace of the state’s transition to online testing

These steps complement additional actions already in the works, including eliminating two TNReady end-of-course exams, eliminating the March stand-alone field test for the next two years, simplifying and streamlining test administration, bringing in a third party to perform an independent review of Questar’s technological capabilities, improving customer service, and engaging dozens of additional Tennessee teachers, content experts, and testing coordinators to look at every part of our state testing program.

“Teachers, students and families deserve a testing process they can have confidence in, and we are doing everything possible to meet that responsibility,” Commissioner McQueen said. “We are always committed to listening and improving, and we’ll continue to do just that.”

TNReady is a high-quality assessment that is aligned to Tennessee’s rigorous academic expectations. In May, a national study recognized Tennessee as the No. 1 state in the country for improvement in the quality of its academic standards, going from an “F” rating in 2007 to an “A” in 2017. TNReady is designed to measure those standards, and it has a variety of different types of questions to look for the depth of students’ knowledge. All of those aspects of the test will not change, but the RFP process will better ensure that students can take TNReady seamlessly and without disruption.

Further details about the announcement today can be found in the fact sheet, which is also available on our website. The state is continuing to identify other areas of improvement, including potential test reductions, and will share more information as those decisions are made. More information about TNReady and the state’s assessment program is posted on TNReady.gov. For media inquiries, please contact Sara Gast, director of communications, at Sara.Gast@tn.gov.

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