student testing

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.”

Tennessee student testing data shows math improvement

Standardized assessments showed more than half of public school students showed improvement in their math scores compared with last year and that 41% of schools scored in the top two ratings of the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, or TVAAS, the state Education Department announced Thursday morning.

Here’s a release from the Education Department:

NASHVILLE— TNReady assessment results released today by Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn indicate that students across the state are performing better in almost all math subjects.  The TNReady scores also show that more than half the schools in Tennessee – 56 percent – improved their growth scores (TVAAS scores) from the previous year, with 41 percent of all schools earning a level 4 or 5 TVAAS rating which measures year-to-year growth.

“I’m impressed with the improvement we’ve seen in mathematics,” Commissioner Schwinn said, while adding, “the dedication of our educators, commitment to implementing high-quality materials, and unwavering student focus is what sets Tennessee apart and will continue to be the catalyst for moving our state forward.”

Mathematics

5th grade students claimed the largest grade-level improvement over 2018 (5.6 percent increase over 2018)

High school geometry students achieved the largest increase of all TNReady math scores  (5.9 percent increase over 2018)

Algebra I scores showed a 3 percent increase, which is significant since Algebra I success serves as an early predictor for college readiness

English Language Arts (ELA)

9th grade students across the state improved scores by 7.4 percent, while 10th grade students did slightly better with a 7.5 percent improvement over 2018

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