TNReady exams to be taken on paper

Many teachers in the Local 6 area feel like they’ve wasted class time. The hashtag #TNnotReady is being used after a mandated exam went from a paper to online testing this year.

Monday was day one of TNReady testing, and most students across the state couldn’t log on.

The servers were overloaded, and only 19,000 students state wide were able to complete the online test. The Tennessee Department of Education contracted with Measurement, Inc. for $108 million. I traveled to a local school district Wednesday, and I’m told a lot of work and money went into preparing for Monday.

After teaching 14 years, Brittan Sutherland has had to learn to just go with the flow. “It’s time we won’t get back that was spent getting ready to test, but you have to chalk it up as lesson learned,” Sutherland said. Sutherland spent hours of class time getting students familiar with testing on the computer instead of on paper.  

Weakley County Schools Assistant Director Jeff Kelley says it’s frustrating. He says the vendor should have seen this coming. “There were some difficulties on the test days when they tested the program back in October. We had another one more recently, Jan. 12, and they called a load testing event.”

Kelley tells me Weakley County schools were more than ready for test day. He says the district spent more than $800,000 on technology upgrades like these laptops for Monday.

It’s a blessing in disguise, to Sutherland. She said her students are more comfortable with paper tests anyway. But, they’ll be ready when online tests are available. “As teachers, we’re here to help them learn and get them ready for any kind of test that they’re given: pencil or paper or computer.”

TNReady evaluates students and teachers. The Tennessee Department of Education has suspended online testing for this year and is printing paper exams. The absolute earliest testing day will be Feb. 22.

Here’s the response from Measurement Incorporated: 

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