State drops two now-required tests for high school students

Tennessee will drop two end-of-course exams for high schoolers next school year in its most significant reduction of state testing in recent years, reports Chalkbeat Tennessee.

The state’s testing task force voted Monday to eliminate standardized tests for chemistry and English III — essentially cutting by more than half the amount of state-ordered testing for students in their junior year of high school.

The Department of Education also will collaborate with the Tennessee Board of Regents to make the end-of-course exam in U.S. history a dual credit test to help students earn college credit from their TNReady score.

In addition, the state announced plans to reduce time on the TNReady English language arts exam in grades 3 and 4 to make it a combined 78 minutes shorter.

Most of the changes announced Monday are aimed at cutting testing during the 11th grade, which is considered students’ heaviest testing year because of additional exams for the ACT, Advanced Placement courses, and dual credit exams, in addition to current state assessments in U.S. history, English III, chemistry, and sometimes other subjects too. Educators agree that, by their junior year of high school, most students are more focused on doing well on their college entrance exam than in prepping for state-mandated assessments that have been part of their testing regimen since the third grade.

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said these two exams are the logical ones to cut because it would make a big dent in 11th-grade testing.

“There are very few states that actually do give an English III EOC or have an chemistry exam, so we were very rare,” she told the task force.

The group was generally in agreement about eliminating the test for chemistry, but wrestled with cutting the English III assessment, especially when many students are struggling with reading and writing.

Note: The department’s press release is HERE.

7 Responses to State drops two now-required tests for high school students

  • James White says:

    more dumbing down of our students. Government educations is a success, it has created sheeple. Cut other things, not science and reading.

  • Michael Lottman says:

    Our education governor and his #1 apologist, who is supposed to be the education commissioner, continue to make a travesty out of our system for educational accountability, making sure that no one will ever know if our schools are doing their job. But here’s a hint–they’re not.

  • William Upton says:

    Sure let’s graduate a whole generation of idiots. Education in this state is not a priority. Between poor education and lousy parenting this coming generation will destroy this country.

    • M. Clanton says:

      As an educator who has to administer one of these tests, I can promise that the tests DO NOT measure a student’s success in the classroom. Education is a priority in my classroom, and the EOC does not help in making a student successful. Also, my students are not idiots.

      • William Upton says:

        Then what does measure that success?

        • M. Clanton says:

          Success for my students is measured by their communication and writing proficiency, critical thinking skills, and periodic testing of the objectives established by the state of Tennessee. A standardized test (which I am not allowed to look at) does not measure these things! Not all EOC’s are being dropped–just two of the tests given to 11th graders. They still take the ACT and math & history end-of-course exams. Our graduating class has an average ACT score of 20.14, with a top ten average of 28.1. Since every student is tested, regardless of academic level or the desire to attend college, I think we’re doing a pretty good job.

  • Jackie Archer says:

    When I went to school, the teachers wrote, administered, and graded all tests. They knew who was doing well and who needed help. They also knew when too much was too much.

    I would hope the Chemistry and English III teachers are free to do those things now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *