October 19, 2020
NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) today released the following statement after Governor Bill Lee (R-Tenn.) and Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced the state would conduct its annual end-of-assessment for the 2020-2021 school year.
“Tennessee students and teachers have been challenged this year in ways we could not have imagined. We have been inspired by the commitment demonstrated by parents and teachers to provide intellectually challenging learning opportunities for students across the state,” said Adam Lister, TSS President & CEO. “In these uncertain times, abandoning testing and progress reporting for our students would be a mistake and result in leaving some of our students behind. By continuing with end-of-year testing, the governor ensures each Tennessee student will receive the support they need based on objective data to measure learning loss, inequities, and areas of improvement. We also believe, in this extraordinary moment, student growth measures should not be used in teacher evaluations unless it benefits the teacher and supports his or her professional growth. We thank Governor Lee and Commissioner Schwinn for their commitment to student improvement and growth in the future generation.”
According to TSS polling in June 2020, 83 percent of Tennessee voters believe it is important to hold schools and teachers accountable and 62 percent believe it is important to test public school students from grades 3-12 each year to know if they are on-track.