Wilson County Schools is pleased to announce that Jennifer Cothron, the district’s Deputy Director over Testing and Accountability, is one of the 30 people who’ve been tapped to participate in a specialized task force, designed to improve testing practices across the state.

Tennessee Education Commissioner, Candice McQueen, established the task force in 2015, to seek input from stakeholders on the state’s new TNReady test.  In the two years since, task force members have met regularly to evaluate the process and discuss possible changes that might improve the overall testing experience for students.

Cothron, who’s served as the district’s testing coordinator for the past three years, says she’s excited to have a seat at the table where decisions are made about testing issues that may need to be addressed, “What impresses me most about this task force is the fact that the members not only talk about the problems and concerns school districts are expressing, but there are actionable results that come out of those meetings.  Both years, the task force has offered very specific recommendations, and changes have already been made, based on those recommendations.”

In fact, here are some examples of just a few changes that have already been implemented.

  • Fewer state tests, including the elimination of the SAT-10, Explore, and Plan exams
  • Abbreviated TNReady tests, in science and social studies, for students in grades 3-4
  • Streamlined reports for parents and teachers that help identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Introduction of a second opportunity for all high school seniors to retake the ACT at no cost

The special task force on student testing and assessment is comprised of 31 members, including the Commissioner of Education.  Ten members of the previous task force will remain, while 20 new members were recently appointed.  For more information about the task force, visit TN Department of Education’s Assessment Task Force 2.0.