Tennessee Lawmakers Vote To Protect Students, Teachers From Penalties After Latest TNReady Problems | Nashville Public Radio

Tennessee Lawmakers Vote To Protect Students, Teachers From Penalties After Latest TNReady Problems

Apr 19, 2018

Tennessee lawmakers have approved a measure meant to protect students, teachers and schools from being penalized for irregularities in this year's TNReady test.

Both chambers of the state legislature swiftly passed the legislation this afternoon, just days after a suspected cyberattack caused computerized tests to shut down.

The measure, attached as a late amendment to House Bill 1981, will do a number of things. It'll let school districts throw out TNReady results when calculating students' final grades, and it'll prohibit them from basing teacher pay on the results.

The scores also can't be used to designate schools as low-performing "priority" schools or factor into the letter grades they'll be assigned next year.

Knoxville Democrat Rick Staples applauded his fellow lawmakers for taking quick action.

"We had a real situation, a real emergency," he said, "and bipartisanship happened. Both parties came together for our state, for our children, for our communities."

A spokeswoman for Gov. Bill Haslam says he does not oppose the measure. Neither does the Education Department, according to a written statement.

"It was clear many members of the General Assembly wanted to address concerns related to the recent administration of state assessments. The governor and Commissioner McQueen understand these concerns and did not oppose the legislation. We will fully support the implementation of the new law."

One issue it does not address is whether Tennessee should continue with computerized testing. Many lawmakers want to switch back to all-paper tests, a move Haslam's administration continues to resist.