2015-16 Testing Dates

Additional Information

As required by Public Chapter 892, this is a listing of state mandated assessments for the 2015-16 school year. Specific district calendars may be found on district-level websites.

TCAP TNReady, Achievement and End of Course Tests

Grades 3-8 TCAP TNReady and Achievement

Annual assessments play a key role in the teaching and learning process, and they are critical to ensure that all students are meeting higher standards and are making progress on their path to postsecondary and the workforce. TNReady, the new TCAP for math and English language arts, was designed to provide Tennessee students, teachers, and families with better information about what students know and understand.

While the law requires annual state testing, we find ourselves in an unusual and unique circumstance due to the inability of our testing vendor, Measurement Incorporated, to deliver a reliable testing platform. Effective immediately, the state is terminating the assessment contract with Measurement Incorporated.

High school testing will continue as planned, but the department is suspending TNReady Part II and TCAP testing for grades 3–8.

If districts have received materials for a complete grade or subject in grades 3-8 (i.e. fifth-grade math), they will have the option to administer that specific grade or subject level; however, the department will only be able to deliver limited student performance information for these particular grades and subjects. Please contact your district to see if this option applies to your child’s school.

High school tests will be fully scored, and these results will be delivered later this fall.

Terminating our contract with MI was a challenging decision because we’ve been working to honor the effort and investment of Tennessee teachers and students. The failure of this vendor has let us all down, especially the hard working teachers and students of our state.

The department is currently working with the state’s Central Procurement Office to expedite the selection of a vendor for both the scoring of this year’s high school assessment and the development of next year’s test.  The department has also been in close contact with the United States Department of Education to ensure that Tennessee is in compliance with federal requirements.

Additional information will be shared as soon as possible. In the meantime, please reference this FAQ document, which provides detailed information about how this announcement will impact our teachers, schools, and districts.

Resources:

Grades 9-12 TCAP TNReady and End of Course

Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, TNReady will become the state’s new and improved TCAP test for English language arts and math in grades 3-11. It will provide us with more and better information about our students’ progress.  Also beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, TCAP End of Course U.S. History based on new content standards will be administered in the same format as TNReady.

English language arts: English I, English II, English III

Math: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, Integrated Math III

These tests will be given in two parts. 

Part I

  • In English language arts – students will read from texts and provide written responses to support their answers.
  • In math – students will solve multi-step problems, many without using a calculator, to show what they know.
  • In U.S. History – students will respond to extended response items  

Part II 

  • English language arts will consist of multiple choice and selected response items.   
  • Math will consist of multiple choice, multiple select, equation editor, matching tables, and graphing representations.
  • U.S. History will consist of only multiple choice questions.

TCAP EOC Biology and Chemistry will measure current content standards and will be administered during Part II on a multiple choice assessment.

Required

Yes

Applicable Federal/State Law

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 §1111 (b) and T.C.A §49-1-602 pertaining to district and school accountability. ELSA is administered in accordance with the No child Left Behind Act of 2001 §1111 (b)(3)(ix-x).  Modified assessments in Braille and large print are administered in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 §1111 (b)(3)(C)(ix)(II).

Purpose & Use

The new TNReady TCAP tests are designed to assess true student understanding and not just basic memorization and test-taking skills. TNReady will measure student understanding of our current state standards in English language arts and math, not the previous SPIs. - See more at: tn.gov/education/topic/tnready.

TCAP EOC Biology, Chemistry and U.S. History are given to help measure how much a student grows academically over the course of a school year.

Administration Window (Tests must be given within these calendar dates)

Districts may select a testing window within the state’s administration window. Specific test times are available here.

For full year schedules:

  • Part I: February 22 – March 11
  • Part II: April 25 – May 10
  • Part II (Biology and Chemistry): April 25 – May 10

For fall block schedules:

  • Part I: November 2 – November 20
  • Part II: November 30 – December 18

For spring block schedules:

  • Part I: April 18 – April 29
  • Part II: April 25 – May 10

Length of Assessment

Each test Part (by subject) is divided into two subtests.

  • English I, II, and III: 85-90 minutes per subtest
  • Algebra I and II: 60-90 minutes per subtest
  • Geometry: 60-90 minutes per subtest
  • Integrated Math I, II, and III: 60-90 minutes per subtest
  • Biology: 75 minutes
  • Chemistry: 75 minutes
  • U.S. History: 45-90 minutes per subtest

Results to Parents & Students

Quick Score reports, which provide teachers and parents with a snapshot of their student’s performance, may be provided to districts by early summer 2016. These may be used to help calculate final grades for report cards.

Districts receive individual performance reports which detail student performance in early fall 2016 after standard setting. Districts can choose how and when to share these reports with parents.

Special Populations

Students with Disabilities

During the 2015-16 school year, TCAP-Alt will include the National Center and State Collaborate (NCSC) Assessment in Reading/Language Arts and Math, as well as the TCAP-Alt portfolio assessment in Science and Social Studies. TCAP-Alt is an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards. This assessment is appropriate for students with a significant cognitive disability as determined by the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team. All of these assessments will be administered online.

Required

Yes

Applicable Federal/State Law

The development of alternate achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and their use for making adequate yearly progress (AYP) decisions is authorized under a Department regulation (34 C.F.R. Part 200) published on December 9, 2003.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and title I require inclusion of all students with disabilities in the State assessment system.

Purpose & Use

This test is given to help measure how much a student grows academically over the course of a school year.

Administration Window (Tests must be given within these calendar dates)

Reading/Language Arts and Math will be administered in spring 2016 over a two month window. Exact dates to be determined but we anticipate March – April as the testing months.

Science and Social Studies may begin to collect data on the first day of school.  Data collection may go through the end of January and data must be entered into the online platform by the end of February 2016.

Length of Assessment

  • NCSC English/Language Arts: Administered over a two month testing window
  • NCSC Math: Administered over a two month testing window
  • Alt Science: Data collection may begin on the first day of school through the end of January 2016
  • Alt Social Studies: Data collection may begin on the first day of school through the end of January 2016

Results to Parents & Students

Districts receive individual performance reports which detail student performance in early summer. Districts can choose how and when to share these reports with parents.

ACCESS for English Learners

During the 2015-16 school year, English Learners will take the ACCESS for ELLs to determine language proficiency. ACCESS assesses students in the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

Required

Yes

Applicable Federal/State Law

Administered in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 §1111 (b)(3)(C)(ix)(III).

Purpose & Use

Administered to English Learners to evaluate English proficiency.

Administration Window (Tests must be given within these calendar dates)

March 7 – April 8

Length of Assessment

The test is self-paced with target administration times for each section of the test as follows:

  • Listening: Up to 40 minutes
  • Reading: Up to 35 minutes
  • Speaking: Up to 30 minutes
  • Writing Tier A: Up to 45 minutes
  • Writing Tiers B/C: Up to 60 minutes

Results to Parents & Students

Additional information is posted to https://www.wida.us/membership/states/Tennessee.aspx

Additional Assessments for Specific Grades

K-2

The K-2 assessment (formerly known as SAT-10) will continue to be an option for districts for the 2015-16 school year.  The assessment measures basic reading and math skills. It is a norm-referenced assessment designed to measure individual student achievement compared to national norms. More information on the design and content of the assessment is available here .

Required?

No

Applicable Federal/State Law

N/A

Purpose & Use

This test is given to help measure how much a student grows academically over the course of a school year.

Administration Window (Tests must be given within these calendar dates)

April 25 – May 6

Length of Assessment

Varies by grade - Detailed information is available here.

Results to Parents and Students

Districts receive individual performance reports which detail student performance in early summer 2016. Districts can choose how and when to share these reports with parents.

 
ACT Suite

Districts in Tennessee will continue to be able to order PLAN, EXPLORE and ACT for students in 8th, 10th and 11th grade for the 2015-16 school year. More information is available here.

ACT Explore

Required

Yes

Applicable Federal/State Law

Administered in accordance with T.C.A §49-6-6001(b).

Purpose & Use

Only eighth graders take this test. The ACT Explore is designed to gauge college readiness for individual students.

Administration Window (Tests must be given within these calendar dates)

September 14 – November 6

Length of Assessment

  • English: 30 minutes
  • Mathematics: 30 minutes
  • Reading: 30 minutes
  • Science: 30 minutes

Results to Parents & Students

Student level reports are provided to students approximately three to eight weeks after the administration of the assessment by ACT.

ACT Plan

Required

Yes

Applicable Federal/State Law

Administered in accordance with T.C.A §49-6-6001(b).

Purpose & Use

Only tenth graders take this test. The ACT Plan is designed to gauge college readiness for individual students.

Administration Window (Tests must be given within these calendar dates)

September 14 – November 6

Length of Assessment

  • English: 30 minutes
  • Mathematics: 40 minutes
  • Reading: 20 minutes
  • Science: 25 minutes

Results to Parents & Students

Student level reports are provided to students approximately three to eight weeks after the administration of the assessment by ACT.

ACT

Required

Yes; Grade 11

Applicable Federal/State Law

Administered in accordance with T.C.A §49-6-6001(b).

Purpose & Use

These exams are used to measure college readiness and HOPE scholarship eligibility.

All Tennessee students receive one free voucher for either ACT or SAT; requests for vouchers should be at the student’s school.

Administration Window (Tests must be given within these calendar dates)

Statewide ACT Assessment: April 19, 2016

Students may also take the ACT Weekday Test. These test dates are listed at ACT Registration | Test Dates in the U.S., U.S. Territories, and Canada.

Students may also take the SAT on the dates listed at US SAT Registration..

Participation in the statewide administration counts as using a voucher.

Length of Assessment

ACT:
  • English: 45 minutes
  • Math: 60 minutes
  • Reading: 35 minutes
  • Science: 35 minutes
  • Writing: 30 minutes
SAT:
  • 25-minute essay
  • Six 25-minute sections (mathematics, critical reading and writing)
  • Two 20-minute sections (mathematics, critical reading and writing)
  • 10-minute multiple choice   writing section

Results to Parents & Students

For ACT, student level reports are provided to students approximately three to eight weeks after the administration of the assessment by ACT.

You may find information about the delivery of student level scores at SAT Scores

National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP)

The NAEP Questions Tool contains sample questions and data from items in previous tests.

Required

Yes

Applicable Federal/State Law

Administered in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 §1111 (b)(3)(C)(ix)(III) which requires the state to participate in the biennial state academic assessments of fourth and eighth grade reading and mathematics.

Purpose & Use

Only a small sample of Tennessee fourth and eighth graders will take this test. This test, often called the nation’s report card, measures Tennessee’s academic achievement against other states also taking this test. 

Administration Window (Tests must be given within these calendar dates)

January 25 – March 11

Length of Assessment

60 minutes

Results to Parents & Students

No student level results provided

International Assessments

PISA

The Program for International Student Assessment is an international assessment that measures 15-year-old students’ reading, mathematics and science literacy. The assessment is given every three years. More information is available here.

Required?

No

Applicable Federal/State Law

N/A - voluntary participation

Purpose & Use

Only a small sample of Tennessee 15-year-old students will take this test. This test, measures Tennessee’s academic achievement against other states and countries also taking this test.

Administration Window (Tests must be given within these calendar dates)

October 5 – November 13, 2015

Length of Assessment

2 hours

Results to Parents and Students

No student-level results are provided.

PIRLS

The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study is an international assessment that measures the reading literacy of U.S. students compared to that of students in other countries. PIRLS is given every five years to 4th grade students. More information is available here.

Required

No

Applicable Federal/State Law

N/A – voluntary participation

Purpose & Use

Only a small sample of Tennessee students will take this test. This test measures US students' academic achievement against other countries also taking this test.

Administration Window

PIRLS was last given in the spring of 2011. It will be given again in March-June of 2016.

Length of Assessment

2 hours

Results to Parents and Students

No student-level results are provided.

TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study is an international assessment that measures mathematics and science achievement of U.S. students compared to that of students in other countries. TIMSS is given every four years to 4th and 8th grade students. TIMSS Advanced is given to 12th grade students. More information is available here.

Required?

No

Applicable Federal/State Law

N/A – voluntary participation

Purpose & Use

Only a small sample of Tennessee students will take this test. This test measures US students' academic achievement against other countries also taking this test.

Administration Window

TIMSS was last given in the spring of 2015. TIMSS will be given again in the spring of 2019.

Length of Assessment

2 hours

Results to Parents and Students

No student-level results are provided.