Parents opting kids out of TNReady testing

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After the early onset problems with the new TNReady state tests, some parents are opting their children out.

J.C. Oden, whose daughter is a 5th grader in Metro Nashville Public Schools, has been keeping his daughter home from school during testing hours because he doesn’t feel the test accurately depicts what she’s learned in school this year.

“I’ve heard some parents, their daughter broke out in hives yesterday, other kids are crying,” said Oden. “I just don’t see how that’s learning.”

Chelle Baldwin’s oldest daughter has a learning disability and only functions on lower grade levels in math and reading. But Baldwin says if she took the test, she’d have to take the 6th grade version.

“She has gone from point A to point B on the 1st grade math scale, but she’s nowhere near the 6th grade math scale,” Baldwin said. “It’s not a valid measure of what she’s accomplishing in school.”

Oden and Baldwin also didn’t want to put their kids through several hours of intensive exams for a test that won’t affect their overall grades.

Some students and teachers have even reported mistakes on the test itself, like typos and grammatical errors.

Amy Frogge, a mother of two who represents District 9 in Metro Public Schools, has heard complaints about the test from other parents, teachers and even her own kids.

“My daughter noted multiple errors on her test: typos, misspellings, misplaced commas, those sorts of things,” said Frogge.

TNReady was originally an online test.

But when students logged on in February to take the exam, the system crashed. It was later deemed that students would take a pencil and paper version of TNReady, which had to be shipped to school districts all over Tennessee.

Several school districts have asked the state to exclude the test stores from affecting teacher evaluations.

Many believe the changes to the test will result in poor test scores.

Lawmakers are discussing a bill that would give teachers the option to decide whether to link the test scores to their evaluations.

If that bill passes into law, teachers could benefit from favorable test scores or distance themselves from negative scores.

It’s up to each school district to decide whether the test scores will impact students’ final grades.

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