Tri-Cities school leaders call for improvements to TNReady ahead of school year


What good is a test that doesn't get graded until after graduation?

There was no shortage of problems last school year with Tennessee's statewide standardized test, TNReady. Most notably, it wasn't ready.

It wasn't until this week that school districts in Tennessee received results, far beyond the end of the academic year.

"The students know that they're not going to be held accountable for them, the teachers are," said Bill Flanary, interim director of Washington County Schools. "This causes a lot of frustration on behalf of our teachers and principals. The state has got to do better in getting these tests assessed and getting scores back to us."

Washington County Schools interim director Bill Flanary says he's troubled by an uncharacteristic drop in test results, and can't help but think issues with TNReady's roll out were a factor.

"We're very flat this year, and we're frustrated by that," Flanary said. Lost ground in a couple of places, and that's just not us. What's the difference? The failure of us to test the students the way that the protocol is supposed to be."

There were some bright spots for Northeast Tennessee, though. Greeneville Schools scored in the top five for growth and overall achievement in U.S. History.

Johnson City Schools ranked in the top 10 statewide in 8 or 9 content categories for grades 3-12.

"We, like many districts around the state, would like the kinks to be removed from that before the 18-19 testing begins," said Debra Bentley, communications director for Johnson City Schools.

While scores haven't been delivered quick enough to impact student grades in years, it's teachers and principals who bear the weight of an unreliable platform.

"They've stuck to the standards. They've used the best practices. They've used their skills to bring to bear, and then it falls through," Flanary said.

Flanary thinks an easy fix is to move the state over to the ACT suite of assessments to ensure students are truly ready to succeed.


Tennessee average 2018:

-3rd-8th: 33.9% mastered

-9th-12th: 29.4% mastered

Johnson City 2018:

-3rd-8th: 48.9% mastered/.8% change

-9th-12th: 54.7% mastered/-1.7%

Washington County (TN) 2018:

-3rd-8th: 38.5% mastered/7.7% change

-9th-12th: 40.6% mastered/-1.4% change

Bristol (TN) 2018:

-3rd-8th: 38.3% mastered/-1.6% change

-9th-12th: 40.3% mastered/-3% change

Kingsport 2018:

-3rd-8th: 38.7% mastered/-.6% change

-9th-12th: 42.65 mastered/-4.3% change

Sullivan County 2018:

-3rd-8th: 28.8% mastered/-2.9% change

-9th-12th: 32.7% mastered/-4.3% change

Unicoi County 2018:

-3rd-8th: 30.2% mastered/no change

-9th-12th: 29.4% mastered/-2% change

Carter County 2018:

-3rd-8th: 29.7% mastered/2% change

-9th-12th: 22.2% mastered/-4.7% change

If you want to see the full list of TNReady results, click here.

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