TCAP Scores Delay Costs Williamson $113, 617

TCAP Scores Delay Costs Williamson $113, 617

CREATED May 23, 2014
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Friday, the State Board of Education notified school directors that TCAP results are finally available. The delay was not as long as expected, but in one Middle Tennessee county, it's still too late.

The delay will cost Williamson County Schools $113,617, which they plan to ask the state to reimburse.

“We're frustrated at a district level,” Director of Schools Mike Looney said. “But at the end of the day our responsibility is to the families of Williamson County and that we're truthfully reporting student progress.”

By law, TCAP scores will factor into up to 20 percent of student's grades. The delay lead to more than 100 districts asking for the law to be waived.

“We believe very firmly that it's not fair to change the rules of the game after the testing has taken place,” Looney said about why he didn't’t recommend that board members seek a waiver and instead wait on the scores to be released.

“State law is clear, the scores are supposed to be included,” Steve Gill, Williamson County parent and conservative radio host, said. “The Commissioner of Education has the scores. He's just simply not releasing them.”

The State’s Assistant Commissioner for Data and Research said student’s raw scores have nothing to do with the delay. This year changes were made to the test. The delay due to an effort to ensure that proficiency levels, from basic to advanced, are comparable to prior years.

Regardless of the reasons, middle school teachers in Williamson County will be asked to return to their schools next week, during their summer vacation, to enter late grades. They'll be paid $150, which may be lower than their daily wage.

“I believe in Williamson County, based on our data, we'll have more students impacted positively by the results that negatively,” Looney said about how grades will be affected.

Teachers and students worked all year expecting the test scores to count not only in final grades but teacher evaluations. Williamson County leaders say choosing this inconvenient option is only in an effort to be fair and honor their commitment to families.

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