Beginning April 17, approximately 600,000 students in Tennessee will sharpen their No. 2 pencils and take TNReady, Tennessee’s new state assessment. There’s a lot of information out there about what TNReady is, why Tennessee kids are taking it, and how you can help them prepare. If you’re a parent and you’re already juggling a half million things – soccer practice, homework, and work – you might feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry – this SCORE Sheet post is for you.

Why is it important for Tennessee public school students to take TNReady?

Two reasons.

Option 1 4-18-16First, it’s important to have an annual statewide assessment. Why? Because it gives important information about how Tennessee students, schools, and districts are doing. For parents, an annual test is a mile marker allowing them to see their child’s progress and to continue working with their school to help their child learn more each year. TNReady matters because it is a tool that helps measure and prepare students grade-by-grade for success.

Second, TNReady was designed to work with Tennessee academic standards and measures whether students are gaining the knowledge and skills they should in each grade. To continue making progress in student achievement gains in Tennessee, we need a test that really reflects the material being taught in class and TNReady does that. Since TNReady is aligned to those standards, it better assesses real-world skill and real understanding. For school, for career, and for life, TNReady matters.

What’s unique to this year’s TNReady testing cycle?

Based on feedback from educators after last year’s TNReady, testing time blocks have been restructured to reduce disruptions to instructional time and classroom schedules. Additionally, Tennessee and the new testing vendor, Questar, have taken steps to ensure the success of the administration of TNReady in the 2016-17 school year. All students in grades 3-8 and most high school students will take the test on paper, although some high schools are administering TNReady online after demonstrating technological readiness.)

TNReady is also more rigorous, and it is better aligned with Tennessee standards and 21st-century skills.  For example, TNReady’s ELA section will ask students to analyze literary and informational texts and write in a response to demonstrate critical thinking and communication skills. In math, TNReady moves away from simply multiple-choice questions by giving sections that require students to show their work and enter the correct answer.

Parent_Image9How can I help my kids prepare?

Support their learning. TNReady evaluates the learning that happens all year in the classroom, so making sure your child completes his or her homework and understands new concepts in class is the best way to help them succeed. Communicating with your child’s teacher throughout the year to understand how your child is doing in class is also important – and maybe the teacher will have more tips to reinforce learning at home.

One other thing you can do, especially if your child gets nervous about tests, is help them find ways to manage and use that stress to do well. Remind them of all they have learned, watch for signs of anxiety coming from deeper sources, and share with them a few stress management techniques.

How can I get more information?

Just ask! Here are some reliable, clear sources that will help you get your TNReady questions answered.

  Expect More Achieve More’s Parent Page of TNReady Tips
  Tennessee Department of Education’s Parent Guide
  Tennessee Department of Education’s Supplemental Guide for Students with Disabilities
  Tennessee Department of Education’s TNReady Website