Facing new state regulations, the Lakeland School System Board of Education has joined with other districts seeking a remote option for students taking the TNReady test. This is along with reconsideration of retention metrics for third graders.

The standardized testing resolution, similar to one drafted by the Germantown Board of Education, was adopted by the Lakeland board at its meeting Monday night, Feb. 8. The action emphasizes the board’s concern over the requirement for 80% participation in the testing. The percentage is for in-person testing and does not include a remote option – a significant consideration during the current pandemic.

Additionally, a different legislative bill would require third graders to receive “On Track” or “Masters” designation to move to the next grade unless they attend summer camps or have a tutor.

“Quite frankly, I’m really disappointed in the direction they’re taking in not understanding what the consequences of their actions are,” board member Laura Harrison said. “I think it’s ridiculous that they’re trying to force a test instead of making sure the students are in the school learning.”

Other board members echoed Harrison’s concerns. Michelle Childs wondered if students attending classes remotely would even consider coming in for the test. And, if not, would the system face a penalty if it fell short of the 80%.

Board member Jeremy Burnett questioned whether they should even administer the test, noting that social distancing will provide a different atmosphere than normal.

“This test is an exercise in futility,” he said. “It will not create a baseline. It will not create trend line data. The test will create anomalous data that school systems are going to be held accountable for.”

On Monday, the board also discussed the district’s growth and future development scenarios.

To learn more on this developing story, visit: https://dailymemphian.com/section/metroeducation/article/19864/lakeland-school-board-concerned-over-new-state-rules