City school district calls for improvement to state assessment program

Published 5:25 pm Friday, September 14, 2018

Elizabethton City Schools will soon join a list of other districts across the state that are asking for changes from the Department of Education.

City Board of Education members will meet Tuesday evening at Central Office to go over a variety of topics on the agenda, including a resolution to call for improvements to the state’s assessment program.

According to documents obtained from Central Office, the BOE will vote to approve the letter and send it to Nashville to state the board’s opinion on testing assessment.

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“Numerous community members are advocating for a reliable assessment instrument to objectively determine where students are and what they need in order to advance,” a copy of the resolution states.

The letter goes on to mention the state’s decision to have the third Task Force on Student Testing and Assessment put into effect a recommendation from March 2018 to “reduce the amount of standardized testing” for students.

“We do not oppose accountability in our schools and we point with pride to the performance of our students but believe the current assessment programs influence the loss of quality instructional time,” the letter says.

It goes on to add, “reliable state assessments administered to grades three through eight should be executed in two parts.”

The two parts include:

The writing assessment administered one day in February

English/languages arts, mathematics, science and social assessments be conducted in a five-day window in late April.

City district members are also asking the state to improve testing practices to ensure “technical quality, grade-to-grade articulation and validity and reliability in results by administering the writing tests a day in February, a five-day window for 3-8 testing, and the flexibility to choose the ACT suite of assessments in lieu of EOC testing.”

A follow-up on the school system’s test results from TNReady will appear in a print edition of the Elizabethton Star next week.


Along with the resolution to the state, the BOE will go through a busy agenda that includes:

• Approving a contract with Blackburn, Childers & Steagall for audit services for the upcoming fiscal year to not exceed $14,200 for activity funds and $19,600 for the general purpose, federal programs, and school nutrition program funds.

• Approving the creation of a boys coach and girls coach for golf at T.A. Dugger Junior High School.

• Hearing updates on the third annual Back-2-School-Bash and from teacher Julie Hartsook on the system’s participation in the Camp Read-A-Lot program.