In an Aug. 13 work session, the Williamson County Schools Board of Education discussed a draft resolution calling for Gov. Bill Lee to cancel TNReady testing and other state student assessments for this school year, citing the number of students learning remotely and the amount of time students have spent away from schools this year.
The 2019-20 TNReady test, which was set for spring earlier this year, was canceled after schools closed and the coronavirus began to spread. The cancellation was made official through Public Chapter 652, which school officials are now asking Lee to extend.
The resolution “supports and respectfully requests the State of Tennessee to suspend all state-required student assessments, including but not limited to, TN Ready testing, and suspend the student growth measure and/or any other portion of teacher evaluations directly related to student assessments to provide some relief to Tennesseans during these difficult and uncertain times.”
In July, Superintendent Jason Golden sent a letter to Lee asking for him to use his state of emergency powers to cancel testing for the 2020-21 school year; Lee later denied that request. Tennessee’s current state of emergency has been extended through at least Aug. 29.
At the time, Lee said it would be important for testing to take place to help determine how much academic support students need following school closures.
WCS officials said they expect other school districts across the state may pass similar resolutions asking for waivers.
“I can’t speak for all of us, but I think that there was disappointment that we did not get the waivers when we first asked [for] them,” District 9 board member Rick Wimberly said. “I believe, and believe it even more so now, that we need the state to help us so that we can be more flexible whether we’re remote, online or in person.”
The board is expected to vote on the resolution during its regular meeting Aug. 17.