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State Representatives Mike Sparks, Bryan Terry Fight To Address TNReady Testing Problems

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna) and State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) are fighting to address another round of issues associated with the state’s TNReady testing system.

The latest problems plaguing TNReady’s online testing platform occurred this week and have frustrated parents, teachers, and school superintendents while also placing unnecessary stress on students.

The most significant development took place on Tuesday when the Department of Education reported that the current vendor who administers the test experienced a cyber-attack on its computer system. Additionally, many students in school districts across Tennessee were unable to log into or complete their tests both the day before and after this attack.

Ensuring that the TNReady tests function flawlessly is vitally important to students, teachers, and schools across Tennessee because the assessment counts for large portions of final student grades, as well as final teacher evaluations, and school rankings.

Thursday afternoon, Sparks, Terry, and House Republicans began addressing TNReady by providing local education agencies with a choice of opting not to count test scores for the year for both students and teachers. This would hold each of these groups harmless in the wake of the system’s widespread failures.

While this important development begins to address the latest issues, Representatives Sparks and Terry look forward to working with their colleagues in the coming days to find additional solutions in order to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.

“It is extremely disappointing that we have experienced yet another year of problems related to our state’s standardized testing system,” said Representative Sparks. “I want our students, parents, teachers, and superintendents to know that we share your frustrations, and we are working to resolve these ongoing problems; our actions on Thursday are only the beginning.”

“Last December, I held an education roundtable with our Rutherford County delegation, the Rutherford County and Murfreesboro City School Boards, and Commissioner McQueen to discuss the issues surrounding TN Ready and to hear from our community,” said Representative Terry. “This week has once again proven that our current system is flawed. I look forward to further addressing these inefficiencies so that our students and our teachers are fairly evaluated and are never penalized for circumstances beyond their control.”

Mike Sparks serves as Vice-Chair of the House Calendar & Rules Committee. He is also a member of the House Insurance & Banking and House Business & Utilities Committees, as well as the House Business & Utilities Subcommittee. Sparks lives in Smyrna and represents House District 49, which includes part of Rutherford County. He can be reached by email at Rep.Mike.Sparks@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-6829.

Bryan Terry, MD serves as Chairman of the House Health Subcommittee, as well as a member of the House Health and Civil Justice Committees. He lives in Murfreesboro and represents House District 48, which includes the eastern half of Rutherford County. Terry can be reached by calling (615) 741-2180 or emailing: Rep.Bryan.Terry@capitol.tn.gov. 

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