Hold teachers, schools harmless on tests

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is joining the push to hold teachers and schools harmless for how their students perform on standardized tests this school year due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a news release Friday, the Republican said he will work with lawmakers to offer a solution.

“Given the unprecedented disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic and extended time away from the classroom has had on Tennessee’s students, my Administration will work with the General Assembly to bring forward a solution for this school year that alleviates any burdens associated with educator evaluations and school accountability metrics,” Lee said.

Student will still take the tests to get an accurate picture of learning levels and assess what needs to happen to make up for losses during the pandemic time off from traditional classroom learning, the release said.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said the solution will ensure teachers feel supported in focusing on educating students.

“Administering assessments to gauge student learning and ensuring strong accountability best enables us to meet the needs of all students, however we know the significant challenges our teachers and school and district leaders are facing and it remains critical to reward their good work,” Schwinn said.

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