WCS Superintendent Jason Golden sent a letter to Gov. Bill Lee on July 17 asking for the governor to waive testing requirements for the 2020-21 school year in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In a July 22 response, Lee denied that request.
In a letter circulated by WCS board of education members on social media, Lee said assessment testing is an important part of the state's education system and is needed to measure students' instructional need.
"We must be able to measure how our students are progressing to know where they need support and what areas to focus on, and the state remains committed to providing this critical data to educators and families," Lee said.
Golden had also requested the state waive state mandates requiring 180 days of instruction, as many students may ned to self-quarantine if they should contract coronavirus. That request was also denied by Lee.
Lee stated that while the requirements are part of state law, state education officials have provided mechanisms for schools to take attendance even if they are operating under a remote setting.
According to the 2020-21 assessment calendar last updated by the Tennessee Department of Education on May 7, testing dates for TNReady and end-of-course exams are slated for Nov. 30-Dec. 17 and April 12-May 6.
See the response from Lee below.
I regret to report that @GovBillLee has denied all waiver requests from @WCSedu for flexibility on the school calendar, instructional day, and TCAP testing.
Governor Lee's emailed response is attached. https://t.co/GXQVshiqEh pic.twitter.com/aiKuaeFTnM
— Eric Welch (@EricWelchWCS) July 23, 2020