The Hamilton County Principals Association, responding to the recent failure of the TNReady online state testing assessment, sent a letter of recommendations that would apply the brakes to many of the state's intentions.

The letter was sent to State Education Commissioner Dr. Candice McQueen, state legislators, Hamilton Co. Superintendent Rick Smith, and Hamilton County School Board members.

Principals Association president Tom Arnold, principal of Ooltewah Elementary School, said the letter was signed by every principal in attendance at the group's Wednesday meeting, with no objections.  Here is the text of the letter:

"As advocates for the students of Hamilton County and based on the recent failure of the TN Ready online
assessment, the Hamilton County Principals Association would like to make the following recommendations out
of an obligation to our students and teachers:

*Part I of the TN Ready Assessment should be eliminated this school year based on the potential lack of
reliability and validity of developing a paper/pencil assessment in a short time frame. Valuable instructional time
has been dedicated to preparing for an online assessment that has been abruptly changed. Eliminating Part I of
the TN Ready Assessment will allow valuable instructional time back into teacher and student schedules.

* Due to the abrupt change from an online format to a paper and pencil assessment, the test scores from the TN
Ready State Assessment for the 2015-2016 school year should not be applied to students’ grades as well as
teacher, administrator, school and district final evaluative measures and rankings.

* In addition to changes to this year’s accountability measures, the scores should not be applied to
accountability data until the 2018-2019 school year. The reasoning behind this recommendation is due to the
fact that to compare 2015-2016 scores (paper/pencil) to 2016-2017 scores (online format) would not be an
accurate measurement of growth because the two assessments will be taken using entirely different formats.

Additional time also lends itself to increased reliability of test results.
It is the desire of the Hamilton County Principals Association that the above stated recommendations be
considered for immediate action.

Members of the Hamilton County Principals Association