More TNReady troubles: Test scores wrong for 9,400 students

About 9,400 students across the state received incorrect scores in this year’s TNReady testing, reports Chalkbeat Tennessee. Seems the testing vendor, Questar, used a scanning program that included an error.

According to an email to (Shelby County school) board members Friday, the errors were isolated to English I and II and Integrated Math II tests for high school students.

Board chair Shante Avant said the errors are concerning, especially after a tumultuous rollout of TNReady last year.

“Our kids do have to be assessed so we know how best to support them. And there’s a heightened scrutiny with test scores. But when we’re not able to provide accurate information, it breeds mistrust,” she said.

The state said tests for students in grades three through eight were re-checked and no errors were detected. “All student score results for grade 3-8 are correct and final,” according to a state email to superintendents.

It’s unclear how much the scoring errors might have distorted district averages, which the state reported in late August. About 1,700 of the changed scores statewide affected whether or not a student passed the test.

Further from The Tennessean:

A statement from Tennessee Education Association spokesman Jim Wrye said the organization will be looking into “all aspects of last spring’s testing.” 

“We’ve been hearing for months from teachers across the state about growing TNReady concerns, from mistakes in the instruction booklets to huge shifts in the state’s statistical estimates (TVAAS) for teachers,” Wrye said. “This makes the fourth year in a row where major problems have surfaced in a system where there are a lot of high-stakes consequences for students, teachers and schools based on test scores. How do we know this is the full extent of the problem?”

TNReady tests are administered and scored by a third-party vendor, Questar Assessment. 

“Questar has now correctly re-scored these tests, and they are processing new score reports for those students, which we will distribute to districts,” Gast’s email said.

She also forwarded a statement from Questar.

“Questar takes responsibility for and apologizes for this scoring error,” the statement from Chief Operating Officer Brad Baumgartner said. “We are putting in additional steps in our processes to prevent any future occurrence. We are in the process of producing revised reports and committed to doing so as quickly as possible.”

2 Responses to More TNReady troubles: Test scores wrong for 9,400 students

  • Brenda Miller says:

    Do we really need these tests? Why do we need to test students in such a way as to be measuring them against other students in the State of Tennessee? Education is an individual matter or should be. This collective approach is non productive and is a waste of tax dollars. Get rid of these test and focus on the issue at hand. The individual student. The State of Tennessee could save millions of dollars and teachers could focus on the student.

  • Cannoneer2 says:

    So the private sector, which always does things cheaper and more efficiently, fell flat on their…. faces here. Do the taxpayers get a refund? Can we get some competent leadership in this department for a change? Maybe we can get Dr. McQueen elected to some nationwide education association and she would henceforth be traveling out of state for a large part of the year?

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