Gov. Bill Lee visits Anderson County High School in September


Gov. Bill Lee and Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn on Friday announced they hope to suspend negative consequences for schools and educators related to standardized testing.

The assessments will still be conducted as planned, the two said.

Lee and his administration still must work with the Tennessee General Assembly to accomplish the plan, which was discussed but never acted upon when the legislature was in session over the summer. Lawmakers will return to Nashville for a new session in January.

"Due to COVID-19, Tennessee districts and schools experienced extended periods away from the classroom and missed critical instruction time during the spring,” Schwinn said. “The department supports Governor Lee's call for holding teachers and schools harmless from negative consequences associated with accountability measures this school year. Administering assessments to gauge student learning and ensuring strong accountability best enables us to meet the needs of all students, however, we know the significant challenges our teachers and school and district leaders are facing and it remains critical to reward their good work. We look forward to working together with our elected officials on a solution for this school year.”

Schwinn said in a conference call with reporters that federal authorities would still require the testing but that the state was working on negotiating leniency for accountability measures.

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