TCAP Blunder Arms Critics?

Will the screwed-up mess of late TCAP scores give critics more ammunition to further delay or kill the Common Core curriculum and the introduction of a new testing program? Critics, like the TEA and Common Core opponents, say problems with a test that has been administered in state schools for 20 years does not bode well for a new test scheduled in 2016.

After all the uproar, cramming for the test and the practice tests, the TCAP scores for Knox County will not be used to compute students' grades. The late arrival of the scores made the state Board of Education give Knox County a waiver from the requirement that the TCAP scores be averaged in.

The school system couldn't wait to use the scores in the fall for a variety of reasons. Decisions had to be made about students attending summer school, and teachers changing schools, quitting, or retiring means that hundreds won't be in the same place with this year's students come fall.

This year's TCAP testing was a week later than last year's, giving students one more week of instructional time. Knox County's results were in to the state on time—the delay occurred in Nashville.