Harwell seeks comptroller review of TNReady contract vendor Questar

Press release from House Republican Caucus

(NASHVILLE) — Under the direction of House Speaker Beth Harwell (R–Nashville), State Representative Jeremy Faison (R–Cosby) has officially requested a review by the Tennessee Comptroller related to recent testing issues of the TNReady school assessments.

The request follows several days of problems tied to TNReady’s online testing platform, the most significant of which occurred on Tuesday when the Department of Education reported its testing vendor had experienced a cyber-attack on its computer system. The day before and after this attack, many students were unable to log into or complete their tests. These tests are vitally important to students, teachers, and schools across Tennessee because they count for large portions of final student grades as well as final teacher evaluations and school rankings.

While the legislature passed a bill last week to keep this year’s tests from penalizing a student or teacher for the 2017-2018 school year, there are still multiple questions that remain to be answered by the Department of Education and its TNReady testing vendor, Questar.

“While we may have figured out a temporary fix for this year’s TNReady problems, there are still questions that need to be answered, especially related to the contract with the testing vendor,” said Faison. “We need to get all of the facts before us so we’re able to make the decisions necessary to best benefit the futures of our students, teachers, and school administrators.”

A few of the specific questions posed by Faison during initial talks with Comptroller Wilson include:

  • Are there clawback provisions available, financial or otherwise, for failures in testing procedures?
  • Is Questar required through their contract to act in full faith and fidelity in ensuring testing problems are solved?
  • Is Questar contractually required to protect all student testing data? If so, what remedies are available for any personal information accessed or lost during the system’s cyber-attack?

“We owe it to our students and parents to ensure that their personal and confidential information is not compromised, and what steps will be taken to ensure that information is not vulnerable,” continued Speaker Harwell. “These assessments are important for accountability, and we need teachers, administrators, parents, and students to have confidence in the integrity of the test.”

6 Responses to Harwell seeks comptroller review of TNReady contract vendor Questar

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    Petepall says:

    In my humble opinion, the claim of an attack on the contractor’s system will be found unfounded.

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    Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    HARWELL WHY ARE NOW CALLING FOR THIS REVIEW, O I forgot your seeking a higher position At least that’s what YOU TOLD A LOBBYLISY. FOLKS these type of people are going to do anything between now and NOVEMBER 2018. Don’t BUY IT. Harwell will drop all this after the elections.

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    I want my taxpayer money back from these people.

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    Michael Lottman says:

    All three of the above comments are basically correct and/or justified.

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    I just wish our Republican controlled state government went after bad corporate actors as vigorously as they went after individuals. That might just be perception but then again….

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    Dan Gilley says:

    Calling for a review by Tennessee’s comptroller is just like calling for Stevie Wonder to judge an art contest! No offense Stevie, at least you are super talented in so many other areas. Our comptroller couldn’t see misdeeds, or even crimes, if he was hit over the head with them. Our comptroller is part of what many people see as a criminal cover up and long-running obstruction of justice case in Bradley County involving the sheriff’s department. How can theft and corruption go on right under the comptroller’s nose and he turn his eyes away from the obvious? It is amazing what a former state representative can get away with if he has the right people in his pocket. Are you listening soon-to-be-former TBI Director Gwyn? It isn’t over. Oh no, it isn’t over by a long shot. Ms. Hartwell, unless you like good old fashioned whitewashes, don’t count on our comptroller.

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