Governor Bill Lee and Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn have called for removing negative consequences for schools and educators associated with student assessments for the 2020-2021 school year. Student assessments will be conducted as planned.
“Given the unprecedented disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic and extended time away from the classroom has had on Tennessee’s students, my Administration will work with the General Assembly to bring forward a solution for this school year that alleviates any burdens associated with educator evaluations and school accountability metrics,” said Gov. Lee. “Accountability remains incredibly important for the education of Tennessee’s students, and we will keep this year’s assessments in place to ensure an accurate picture of where our students are and what supports are needed to regain learning loss and get them back on the path to success.”
“Due to COVID-19, Tennessee districts and schools experienced extended periods away from the classroom and missed critical instruction time during the spring. The department supports Governor Lee’s call for holding teachers and schools harmless from negative consequences associated with accountability measures this school year,” said Commissioner Schwinn. “Administering assessments to gauge student learning and ensuring strong accountability best enables us to meet the needs of all students, however we know the significant challenges our teachers and school and district leaders are facing and it remains critical to reward their good work. We look forward to working together with our elected officials on a solution for this school year that preserves our strong foundations while ensuring that every teacher feels supported in focusing on educating their students.”
The announcement comes on the heels of the Cannon County Board of Education passing two resolutions at their October meeting.
RESOLUTION – 01 – RESOLUTION OF THE CANNON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION – IN SUPPORT OF A BASIC EDUCATION PROGRAM HOLD HARMLESS LEGISLATION FOR THE 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR
Summary: Supports and respectfully requeststhat BEP funding will not decrease for the 2021-2022 school year. The Cannon County Board of Education requests the BEP allocation amounts provided to districts for the 2021-2022 school year be equal to or greater than the allocations for the 2020-2021 school year. The BEP allocations should not be negatively impacted based on student ADM of the 2020-2021 school year.
RESOLUTION – 02 – RESOLUTION OF THE CANNON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION – IN SUPPORT OF A MORATORIUM ON STATE STANDARDIZED TESTING FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR.
Summary: Supports and respectfully requests a moratorium on state standardized testing and accountability associated with such testing for the 2020-2021 school year to include end-of-year examinations and formative assessments throughout the year. The Cannon County School District requests that, if state standardized testing does continue in some format for the 2020-2021 school year, the results of that testing be used as metrics of student progress rather than to determine district rankings and scoring statewide due to the disparity in learning methods that will be used across the state in light of COVID-19 and focus on recoupment of students’ academic and social/emotional skills lost during the extended school closure.
Director of Schools William F. Curtis hand delivered copies of the resolutions to State Rep. Clark Boyd, State Senator Mark Pody and U.S. Representative John Rose.