By Sheila Burke, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The president of a North Carolina-based testing company said Monday that he can’t guarantee all students in Tennessee will receive the test on time.
Measurement Inc. president and CEO Henry “Hank” Scherich said his company is working furiously to get the new TNReady materials to students.
“I wish I could promise them,” Scherich said. He added they were doing everything humanly possible to get the tests to the students on time.
All of the students have at least some of the testing materials, he said, but the company has found itself scrambling to print and ship 5 million test booklets for Tennessee.
State education officials are preparing for the possibility that some students won’t be able to take the test. They announced last week that they were meeting with the U.S. Department of Education, Gov. Bill Haslam’s office and others to determine what to do.
The delay in schools getting the testing materials is just the latest setback for the creators of the TNReady tests. Students were supposed to take the assessment online. But after computer glitches in February prevented some from taking the exam on the first day of its rollout, state education officials ordered that it be administered on paper.
Scherich said the decision to stop online testing forced the company to print, repackage and ship millions of testing packets, which has caused the delay.
“No testing company in the world has ever faced this type of task in such a short time,” Scherich said.
TNReady has been hailed as smarter achievement test, one that better evaluates a student’s critical thinking skills. State education officials still say they believe in the test, but have said they are disappointed after the problems.
The state awarded the company a contract of more than $107 million for work from 2015-2020, but has only paid out $1.6 million for the development of the test. State education officials say they won’t pay for the company’s failures.