KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Classroom time has been spent getting ready for state standardized tests, but the tests weren’t available. TNReady wasn’t ready and now the state has canceled the contract with the testing company Measurement Inc.
“There’s really no way to sugarcoat it. It’s a complete disaster. It’s a real blow to the progress we’ve made in education that we are not able to have some accountability and to recognize the achievement our students have made because of the hard work of the teachers,” said Rep. Bill Dunn.
Education Committee member Rep. Dunn spoke about who should be held accountable for the failure of TNReady.
“The company made promises. The state did their due diligence, checked on them and supposedly they would be able to carry out their responsibilities and they weren’t,” said Rep. Dunn.
The Tennessee Department of Education spokesperson says the cancellation of Measurement Inc,’s contract came after the company’s network failed when trying to give students the TNReady test online. Then the company couldn’t print and deliver all the tests after delaying shipping three times.Related story: Mixed reactions to cancellation of TNReady tests
“It would make me very happy if they went after the company and for the little money that they did give to try and get it back,” said Rep. Dunn.
Measurement Inc. President Henry Scherich said they had a network saturation issue when students tried to take the test online in February. He said it was the first time the company had done full statewide testing but a smaller number of users had worked on the network with no problem.
Scherich said the problem could have been corrected, but Tennessee chose to switch to a paper and pencil test and they ran in to trouble trying to print and ship 2.5 million documents. He says all the tests would have been delivered by Monday but the state wouldn’t wait and canceled the contract.
Rep. Dunn explained how the state might prevent this from happening again.Related story:Tennessee Department of Education terminates TNReady testing contract
“You may go with a company that has more of a proven record, one that’s been implemented and had their server actually function,” said Rep. Dunn.
The spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Education says for the tests that are taken there will be a new vendor in place to score the tests. They can’t go into details yet because they are in the process of hiring a new vendor. Some teachers have had questions about access to the practice tests. The Tennessee Department of Education says all districts have been emailed PDFs with practice tests.
Rep. Dunn says next year there will be a new test in place for students to take.