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Thousands of TNReady tests scored incorrectly

Statewide, approximately 1,700 of the tests tallied incorrectly, once corrected, change the score, possibly affecting whether a student passed the assessment.
The state this year will implement a new standardized test for Tennessee students.

About 9,400 TNReady tests across the state were scored incorrectly, according to the Tennessee Department of Education.

The scoring issue impacted about 70 schools in 33 districts.

Three Knox County schools were impacted.

"We have spoken with the state regarding the scoring issue. Only three of our schools--Austin-East, Carter and Powell high schools--have been affected and the state is working to make the appropriate corrections," Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas said.

"There is no impact to the statewide results," according to an email from state spokeswoman Sara Gast. The impact on individual schools' scores, however, is unclear.

Just over 1,000 of those incorrectly scored were in Shelby County Schools, according to an email from Superintendent Dorsey Hopson to his board on Friday. Metro Nashville Public Schools was also affected.

Statewide, approximately 1,700 of the tests tallied incorrectly, once corrected, change the score, possibly affecting whether a student passed the assessment. About 600,000 tests were taken in the 2016-17 school year.

Teachers are also affected. TVAAS scores for 230 educators statewide, which factor into their evaluations, will be reworked because of the changed test scores.

TNReady tests are administered and scored by a third-party vendor, Questar Assessment.

"Questar (Assessment) has now correctly re-scored these tests, and they are processing new score reports for those students, which we will distribute to districts," Gast's email said.

Additionally, almost 1,700 teachers were impacted by the state having incorrect classroom rosters. Those rosters are used to assign student tests to teachers.

The state said about 900 of those teachers might see changes in their overall TVAAS score. Approximately 240 of those teachers are in Nashville, Gast said.

“The rest are distributed throughout the state, generally in pretty small numbers,” Gast said. District and school TVAAS composites are not affected by the roster issue.

The issues, Gast said, are due to the vendor incorrectly updating its scanning software. The software issues also caused the delay of test results for report cards, the department said in June.

Students across the state took the year-end tests in the spring. The tests factor into students' individual grades, and are part of how the state holds schools and districts accountable.

The state has been rolling out results over the last few months. School-by-school test score data in grades 3-8 has yet to be released.

This is the first year students in grades 3-8 have taken the TNready test after the state's previous vendor failed to launch an online test for the state. The vendor was then unable to deliver to districts testing materials for elementary and middle school grade.

High schools were able to take the test.

The state fired that vendor, Measurement Inc., shortly after the issues. It hired Questar Assessment last summer under a two-year, $30 million per year contract.

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