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Tennessee education leaders vow that third TNReady state test delay will be the last

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen speaks with reporters in February about technical problems with the state’s new online assessment.
Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen speaks with reporters on Feb. 9, 2016, after technical problems halted the state's new online assessment called TNReady.
Grace Tatter

The Tennessee Department of Education on Friday apologized and promised no more delays in light of the third holdup of the state’s new standardized exam since it was rolled out Feb. 8.

Measurement Inc., the North Carolina-based testing vendor that created TNReady, should deliver the last printed testing materials by April 27, according to a statement from the department.

In March, after its online test failed, the company had assured state officials that the printed testing materials for Part II would arrive by April 22. But state acknowledged this week that the company had missed that deadline.

While all districts have received testing materials for high school courses, TNReady materials for grade 3-8 for math and English, as well as TCAP materials for science, are arriving in districts daily.

The testing window for Part II of TNReady runs from April 25 to May 10, but the state has told districts that they can be as flexible as needed with scheduling.

“We will not ask districts to reschedule again beyond what has been communicated to date, and we will not extend the testing window beyond May 10,” department spokeswoman Ashley Ball said in the statement. “…Our priority is for students to end the school year on a strong note, and we do not want state testing to interfere with our students’ end-of-year experience.”

Part I of TNReady also was plagued by delivery issues and testing delays due to “printing capacity issues.”

State officials pledged to keep the public updated about ongoing conversations with Measurement Inc.

“Again, we share the frustration felt by district and classroom educators and sincerely apologize for the impact that (Measurement Inc.’s) failure to deliver as promised has had on students, parents, teachers, and districts all across Tennessee,” the statement said.

The announcement was met with celebration from many critics of the test. Upon receiving the statement, Rep. Antonio Parkinson, a Memphis Democrat, thanked God in remarks on the floor of the Tennessee House that there would be no further reschedulings.

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