Legislation places moratorium on new statewide assessments in grade K-12 schools

NASHVILLE — Legislation placing a two-year moratorium on any new statewide assessments for students in grades K-12 is headed to Governor Bill Haslam for his signature after passage in the State Senate on Monday night.  Senate Bill 1806, sponsored by Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), prohibits the Department of Education and the State Board of Education from mandating new statewide assessments for grades and subjects beyond those assessments required as of the 2016-2017 school year until the 2020-2021 school year.

“This is a two-year moratorium to stop and take a breath and let teachers, parents and students get use to the tests they are currently taking, rather than constantly having new ones added to an already rigorous testing schedule,” said Chairman Ketron.  “It is supported by many teachers and their concerns prompted me to bring this piece of legislation.”

Ketron added, “Tennessee has experienced many new assessment changes over the last several years.  We need to make sure there is time to address these changes.”

The bill also requires the Tennessee Department of Education to report the actions and procedures that have been implemented to ensure all data associated with the assessments is accurate and timely.

“This provision helps to ensure that the system is working properly,” Ketron added.  “We need to make sure we are getting it right with the assessments currently administered and that we are not over testing our students.”

The bill is sponsored by Representative Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro) in the House of Representatives.  It will become effective upon the governor’s signature.

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