Lee calls for suspending negative consequences from school testing

Gov. Bill Lee delivers his second State of the State address in Nashville on Feb. 3, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee announced Friday he will ask lawmakers to suspend any consequences for schools, teachers, and students if they do poorly on testing during the current school year.

Here’s the full release from the governor’s office:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn today called for removing negative consequences for schools and educators associated with student assessments for the 2020-2021 school year. Student assessments will be conducted as planned.

“Given the unprecedented disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic and extended time away from the classroom has had on Tennessee’s students, my Administration will work with the General Assembly to bring forward a solution for this school year that alleviates any burdens associated with educator evaluations and school accountability metrics,” said Gov. Lee. “Accountability remains incredibly important for the education of Tennessee’s students, and we will keep this year’s assessments in place to ensure an accurate picture of where our students are and what supports are needed to regain learning loss and get them back on the path to success.”

“Due to COVID-19, Tennessee districts and schools experienced extended periods away from the classroom and missed critical instruction time during the spring. The department supports Governor Lee’s call for holding teachers and schools harmless from negative consequences associated with accountability measures this school year,” said Commissioner Schwinn. “Administering assessments to gauge student learning and ensuring strong accountability best enables us to meet the needs of all students, however we know the significant challenges our teachers and school and district leaders are facing and it remains critical to reward their good work. We look forward to working together with our elected officials on a solution for this school year that preserves our strong foundations while ensuring that every teacher feels supported in focusing on educating their students.”

12 Responses to Lee calls for suspending negative consequences from school testing

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    Phil Lassiter says:

    If tradition holds, they were going to do poorly anyway. Covid provides yet another golden opportunity for government. How about we get our money back for paying for all this nonsense? Lee has fumbled the voucher and abortion issue. Now he will be a darling of educators because they don’t have to worry about their performance either.

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    This might provide a window for “Education Corporation of America” or some similar outfit to come along and mooch off of state finances.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      The ECA no longer exists but it would be wonderful if some entrepreneurial private enterprise organization came along and did the job that government schools by and large simply cannot do, viz. efficiently educate America’s children.

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    steve cates says:

    If you are comparing what charter schools do with what TN public schools are doing, just remember that the charters can pick and choose. They also have tax money given with little oversight. And they can dismiss students at will. That would give anyone a golden opportunity to show “success” with whatever they do. (I do agree that tremendous amounts of money have been spent by the State Dept. of Ed., often with little oversight, follow up or success stories connected!! It would be interesting to know who has a hand in the till , as to where this money is going)

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      As a citizen/taxpayer I simply want education to follow the traditions of this country in terms of the furnishing of goods and service by introducing competition in a free market in primary and secondary education that will result in a maximization of efficiency in an environment of freedom. Money from the state should simply follow the student, however, in those places where a free market competition is not possible there should always be government schools but much reduced from the dominance they enjoy in this near monopolistic situation. Look at it this way, Standard Oil was much reduced and so was AT&T after they were found to be illegal monopolies, but we still have ExxonMobil today as well as AT&T.

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        MARLE says:

        Doing things your way, Stuart, would not ensure the social engineering goals of administration, teachers and their union.

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      Taxpayer #314 says:

      The DEVO Woman has her hand in the till of education in a big way.

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    Nancy K. Corley says:

    So does the Governor have a magic wand to wave to suspend the negative consequences to the students who haven’t learned much of anything this school year???
    Otherwise , how does his action help the people who are the actual consumers, the students, and not just the Dept of Ed bureaucrats, who deserve something else besides “no consequences”.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    After this election, there WILL BE consequences for those in charge. Go Vote!

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