TNReady turmoil clouded legislature’s education agenda

Excerpt from a Chalkbeat Tennessee review of education issues during the 2016 legislative session:

While a private tuition voucher bill fizzled and Gov. Bill Haslam touted a $261 million K-12 funding increase as historic, problems with TNReady hovered over the Capitol like a cloud. The state’s new online assessment had been trumpeted as the beginning of a new era in Tennessee education by the governor, the Department of Education and many lawmakers.

In the end, the legislature — which had set the creation of TNReady in motion in 2014 by voting to delay an existing Common Core-aligned assessment known as PARCC — passed a new law to allow teachers to discount first-year TNReady scores from their teacher evaluations.

Here’s a recap of other education highlights from this year’s legislative session (listing only the first sentence of each topic):

Surprising school-choice supporters, vouchers were blocked yet again…. But other school-choice measures passed.

…The formula used to fund schools for the past nine years was put into state law — even as some school districts are suing the state over funding.

…New research on pre-kindergarten helped to shape new strategies for early childhood education.

…Lawmakers opted for further study of Tennessee’s school turnaround efforts through the Achievement School District.

…TNReady’s troubles trickled into legislation.