School Testing in Tennessee. Sigh.

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Standardized testing is a hot-button issue. Here's what it looks like locally for the 2016-17 school year.

Looking to improve standardized testing after last spring’s fiasco, the Tennessee Department of Education shares points about what parents and kids can expect going forward:

• Students will spend less time taking standardized tests, and testing will be confined to the end of the school year.

• End-of-year testing will be reduced by 30 percent, addressing complaints of overtesting from parents and loss of instructional time from teachers.

• Almost all TCAP testing will occur in late April and early May, unlike last year when students also tested in February and March.

• Teachers’ planning materials for the new year are very similar to last year’s.

• Teacher assessment blueprints were made available last month; material and standards assessed will be similar to last year. Students will be able to take practice tests online beginning early November.

• Tests will be taken with pencil and paper, but some high schools might choose to test their students online.

• High schools may have the option to take the test online this year, but only if Questar’s (the company newly contracted to head up the standardized tests for Tennessee) testing platform demonstrates “early proof of successful online administration” in Tennessee schools during practice runs.

To see the full fact sheet on Tennessee assessments for 2016 – 2017, go to tn.gov/education/section/assessment.

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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