Nashville Schools Report Modest Test Gains, Make Pitch To ‘Abandon’ TCAP

On Wednesday, MNPS superintendent Jesse Register went over district-wide TCAP results while also calling to move on from the outdated test. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

On Wednesday, MNPS superintendent Jesse Register went over district-wide TCAP results while also calling to move on from the outdated test. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Poor and minority students are improving faster in Nashville than they are statewide. Also, standardized test results released Wednesday show improvement in most subjects. The two problem spots are in Algebra I and English III, though district leaders say that’s partially explained by an increase in students opting for advanced courses.

But results of the test – known as TCAP – don’t mean what they used to. The tests haven’t been updated to reflect new classroom standards, and Nashville’s superintendent says he’s ready to move on.

“What I’d like to do next year is abandon TCAP,” Register told reporters.

Public schools across Tennessee were supposed to leave TCAP behind in the coming school year. But the legislature put the brakes on moving to a test known as PARCC, made specifically to measure Common Core standards.

Even though the state is holding off on the new test, Register is calling for Nashville to be a pilot site, whether it’s PARCC or something else.

“I mean, you know, it’s sticking our neck out in a way,” Register said. “But it’s also assuming that the state is going to make a good decision about an aligned test with Common Core.”

Currently, the state Department of Education is requesting proposals from testing companies. Register says if he could get a new test locked down by Christmas, he could still replace TCAP when testing begins in the spring.

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