Tennessee's new online achievement testing for elementary schools has hit a snag in Hamilton County. Four schools, Calvin Donaldson, Hillcrest, Lookout Valley and Thrasher Elementary schools are equipped primarily with i-Pads, and those devices are not compatible with the new TN-Ready test.  With just over a week before the February 8 start date, teachers are being told to revert to the old fashioned pencil and paper method.  State officials say that won't put students at a disadvantage, even though they've been told to expect an online test.   All other Hamilton County schools are expected to be able to take the online tests.

Here is a letter from State Education Commissioner Dr. Candace McQueen to the school districts affected by the change:

Out of an abundance of caution we recommended that districts currently using iPads to administer TNReady utilize other devices. Because we know that this could create a logistical challenge, the department is again offering districts the option to administer the test via paper and pencil.

Out of 142, four districts have requested to administer the paper and pencil test to replace iPads. We’ve asked that districts make this request by Monday, Feb. 1. It’s important to note that only a limited number of districts were planning to use a small number of iPads to administer TNReady. For context, less than half a percent of students took TNReady on an iPad this fall.

The department has conducted multiple capacity tests on the online platform from October 2015 to this monthAs a follow up to our Jan. 12 capacity test, the department’s technology team has spent several weeks in the field visiting select districts around the state, including Hamilton County, to reproduce system errors in a real-world, real-time situation to provide better diagnostic information that will ultimately improve the experience for all districts. We will continue to analyze results of our capacity test and district visits.