TNReady is our new state test in Tennessee. It helps us learn how well students are mastering the content for each course and whether they are developing the critical thinking, problem solving, and writing skills that are required to be successful after high school.
Our new score reports give Tennessee educators, families, and students an important, big-picture update on each individual student’s growth toward meeting the expectations we have set for students in each grade. Ultimately, these score reports help us learn if students are on track in their longer journey toward graduating from high school prepared for college and career.
Scores on these tests may look different than the past, and they may not match what you were expecting to see. That does not mean our students are learning less. Instead, we are asking students to meet a higher bar that is based on the expectations Tennessee educators have set for what students should know and be able to do each year.
This means the results will help us understand better how to support students' growth toward readiness for opportunities after high school graduation. In the long-term, we now have better feedback to help students get and stay on track earlier, before they take a college admissions test or apply for a job
State tests are just one measure of a child’s readiness, but they give us unique feedback. This is a chance for educators, families, and students to talk about how to support our students’ growth toward their long-term goals, make sure they are ready for each step of the way, and take early action to help them get back on track.
Test scores are expected to dip when we set higher expectations. This does not mean your child is learning less or that our teachers are not working hard every day; it means we have a fuller picture about how our high school students are progressing based on what colleges and employers expect. Re-assure your student that they are capable of doing the hard work needed to succeed and that our teachers are helping them get there. As our students gain the skills and knowledge to meet those expectations, performance on TNReady will also improve.
In 2010, our TCAP test was improved to reflect the higher standards we had adopted a couple of years earlier. When that happened, scores again dipped initially—and then improved over time. Because we raised expectations, in addition to being more prepared for colleges and careers, Tennessee students' achievement soared on national exams, making Tennessee the fastest improving state in the country. Tennessee's teachers and students have a growth mindset, and we know that will continue from this new baseline. In fact, we are already seeing it: In 2016-17, our high school students improved across the board with the second year of TNReady results.