Districts across the State received some good news on Feb. 18 from the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education regarding the TNReady English Language Arts (ELA) test. When the decision was made to go to a paper and pencil test rather than online, districts were told that students in all grade levels would have to complete the writing portion of the ELA test in one day, rather than the two days originally planned. This change would have required our students to respond to two different writing prompts over the course of 150 minutes in grades 3-5 and 180 minutes in grades 6-8. Districts across the state, including ours, immediately began appealing this decision to the state as an undue burden on students.
Commissioner Candice McQueen notified districts on Thursday, Feb. 18, that they will be granted the flexibility to split the ELA assessment into two days. We think this is extremely important for our students and will provide them the best opportunity to more accurately demonstrate what they know and are able to do.
We are extremely appreciative to Commissioner McQueen for allowing this assessment flexibility. We are especially appreciative of her willingness to listen to our concerns and to make decisions that are truly in the best interest of students.
David L. Snowden, Ph.D.
Director of Schools
Franklin Special School District