Press Release from the Democratic Caucus of the Tennessee House of Representatives, May 21, 2014:
Time is now to hold Commissioner Huffman accountable
The Department of Education once again fails to deliver on basic promises in their rush to radicalize Tennessee’s education system
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 21, 2014) – Parents and teachers across the state have just been informed that the Department of Education has failed to prepare student test scores in time for the release of final grades. As a result, schools may be forced to bring teachers back after the summer break to issue new grades, resulting in higher costs for school districts.
“We have heard for years now from Commissioner Huffman and his corporate special interest friends about how important all of these standardized tests are to a child’s education,” said Rep. Gloria Johnson. “If they are so important, why have they continuously failed to implement them in a way that causes the least amount of disruption? Instead, teachers have had to jump hurdle after hurdle resulting from the epic and avoidable failures by the Huffman administration.”
Under Kevin Huffman’s leadership of the Department of Education, school districts, teachers and students have been mired in problems caused by the Commissioner’s push for more standardized testing without the proper infrastructure.
Schools saw a massive failure when the Department of Education rolled out the online writing assessment, resulting in thousands of students losing their work when servers crashed. Teachers have expressed great frustration during the PARCC pilot testing when logistical problems made it clear that even the most advanced schools were not fully prepared to deal with the new tests. And now, with the failure to properly grade TCAP tests, school districts, teachers and parents are left in limbo trying to figure out how to grade students without these state mandated test scores.
“While Commissioner Huffman has pushed for more and more accountability for our teachers, his own Department has yet to be called to account for their own failures,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh. “Parents and students should not be inconvenienced because the Department of Education failed to plan for this scenario. Commissioner Huffman has gotten too many passes already; it’s time for the Governor to get control of the situation.”