Gov. Bill Lee Works with General Assembly to Temporarily Reinstate Paper-Based Student Testing in 2019-2020 School Year

Friday, April 05, 2019 | 08:51am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced that his administration, in coordination with the Tennessee General Assembly, is temporarily reinstating paper-based assessments for students in the 2019-2020 school year.

“We must ensure the utmost quality in our annual assessment,” said Lee. “Commissioner Schwinn and her team at the Department of Education are doing outstanding work to get testing on the right track, and we thank the General Assembly for their thoughtful approach on this matter.”

Testing for the 2018-2019 school year, the final year with the current vendor, begins on Monday, April 8 and the online version of the test will be delivered as scheduled. In preparation for testing, 100% of districts reported as meeting the criteria for technical readiness to give the online assessment.

The move to temporarily reinstate paper-based testing next year will allow the new vendor to establish an accountable, long-term solution to be put in place for students, teachers and taxpayers.

“One year of paper-based testing will give the new vendor a full year to properly stand up a Tennessee office, hire exceptional talent, and make sure the assessment is ready for Tennessee classrooms,” said Commissioner Schwinn.

Legislative leadership offered support for the move:

“I fully support this amendment because our students and teachers deserve a system that works. I look forward to working with legislative colleagues and the Lee Administration to build a solution.” – Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson

“I am proud to work with House Education Chairman Mark White and the Lee Administration on this amendment so that we may ensure that the Commissioner of Education has the flexibility needed to do what is in the best interest of our children during the continued phase of planning toward the best system possible.” – House Majority Leader William Lamberth

“Our priority is to act in the best interest of Tennessee students. This amendment is a step in the right direction. I look forward to working with the House and the Lee Administration in these efforts to ensure our students are set up for success.” – Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham

“Our teachers and students deserve our best and this will give the Department of Education time to ensure that everything is running smoothly.”  – House Education Committee Chairman Mark White