Tennessee lawmakers take steps to cancel TN Ready; governor and federal approval still needed

Tennessee lawmakers are working to cancel state assessments for the 2019-20 school year. (smolaw11/Adobe Stock)
Tennessee lawmakers are working to cancel state assessments for the 2019-20 school year. (smolaw11/Adobe Stock)

Tennessee lawmakers are working to cancel state assessments for the 2019-20 school year. (smolaw11/Adobe Stock)

In response to widespread school closures as a result of rising coronavirus cases in the region, Tennessee lawmakers have passed legislation calling to cancel state assessments and accountability requirements for the 2019-20 school year.

If passed, House Bill 2818, signed by House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, March 20, would cancel TN Ready testing, which was scheduled to occur this spring, as well as other state assessments. Scores would not be counted for this school year, according to the bill.

Many schools have been closed for at least the past week and are expected to stay closed through at least the end of the month after Gov. Bill Lee urged districts to keep students out of schools to reduce chances of spreading the virus more.

While the bill, as well as a version in the senate—Senate Bill 2672—has been approved in the Legislature, it will still need to be signed by Lee, and the state will also need to seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education. In a March 20 release, officials with the U.S. Department of Education announced it will grant waivers for state testing upon proper request. A waiver request was submitted by the Tennessee Department of Education March 16.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn supported the move to cancel testing and thanked lawmakers for passing the bills quickly.


“These are challenging times for all of us," Schwinn said in a statement. "I appreciate the opportunity to work with the governor’s office and legislative leaders to craft this amendment so that no student, educator, or school will be adversely affected due to the loss of instructional time caused by tornadoes and the coronavirus pandemic."
By Wendy Sturges

A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


MOST RECENT

The United Way of Greater Nashville announced April 7 a second round of funding to 27 local nonprofit groups helping individuals and families negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. (Lindsay Scott/Community Impact Newspaper)
United Way sends over $500,000 to Tennessee nonprofits

The United Way’s COVID-19 Response Fund, in partnership with Mayor John Cooper’s office and local partners, has raised just over $3.6 million since its inception

Restaurants all over the county are closing or offfering curbside and delivery services. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)
ROUNDUP: 5 coronavirus stories Nashville-area readers may have missed

Here are five coronavirus-related stories readers in the Nashville area should know about.

(Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Cards of Care in downtown Franklin converted to small food pantry

The box, which usually holds cards, now has food for those in need.

downtown nashville
Middle Tennessee hospitality coalition creates relief fund for workers amid coronavirus-related closures

The fund will grant up to $1,000 to local hospitality workers and small businesses who are eligible for aid.

The map represents 602 of the 926 cases confirmed coronavirus cases reported to the Metro Nashville Public Health Department as of April 6. (Courtesy Metro Nashville)
Metro Nashville map shows concentrations of coronavirus cases by zip code

According to public health officials, some of the concentrations on the map can be traced to group gatherings.

Restaurants all over the county are closing or offfering curbside and delivery services. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County restaurants continue adjusting food options amid coronavirus outbreak

Restaurants all over the county are closing or offfering curbside and delivery services

The 2020 CMT Music Awards, held annually at Bridgestone Arena, will now be held in October. (Courtesy Bridgestone Arena)
April 6: 4 things Nashville-area readers need to know about the coronavirus

In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of the most notable updates from our past week of coronavirus coverage.

Residents can still go to some stores but are advised to stay at home as much as possible. (Community Impact Staff)
Q&A: What does the stay-at-home order mean for Tennessee residents?

Residents can still go to some stores but are advised to stay at home as much as possible.

The Williamson County Health Department announced April 6 the opening of COVID-19 assessment sites for county residents who meet pre-screening and pre-registration requirements. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County Health Department opens COVID-19 testing sites

The two clinics will be open for coronavirus testing from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Mental health specialists say taking time to work on connecting with family and being reactive can help alleviate stress and anxiety. (Community Impact Staff)
The Refuge Center for Counseling in Franklin offers mental health tips, telehealth appointments during coronavirus outbreak

Mental health specialists say taking time to work on connecting with family and being reactive can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

Music City Center in downtown Nashville will serve as an alternative treatment facility for COVID-19 patients. (Courtesy Music City Center)
Music City Center in Nashville to serve COVID-19 alternative treatment facility

Music City Center in downtown Nashville will serve as an alternative treatment facility for COVID-19 patients.