TNReady English Language Arts
The writing portion that had previously been tested as a Part I in February has now been folded into the English language arts assessment at the end of the school year, which will be given in four shorter subparts over the course of one assessment window. The department has worked with its new vendor, Questar, to expedite the hand-scoring process—which is the reason why the writing section has traditionally been given earlier—and will provide guidance to districts about how to schedule this subpart early in the test window. The department is also reducing questions where possible.
Last year, all students responded to a writing prompt that was operational (meaning, it was scored) and one field test prompt (meaning, it did not factor into a student’s score and instead helped the department to determine whether the prompt would be appropriate for future tests). This year, in response to feedback from teachers and concerns about student stamina, the department will restructure field testing. Under the new structure, only about one-third to one-half of all students will participate in a separate writing field test, and they will do so about a month prior to the main testing window. The writing prompt for the U.S. history exam will also be field tested during this time. Districts will be selected to participate in field testing on a rotational basis—about once every two years.
Depending on the grade, students in grades 3-8 will have a reduction of 75-95 minutes in ELA, not including the writing field test. Each End of Course assessment in English will be 120 minutes shorter—which reduces the test by more than a third for some students.
Assessment blueprints, which outline the number of questions devoted to various groups of standards, are now available. Additional resources, including sample test questions and resources that will help educators, parents, and students to become more familiar with the assessment, will be available in the future.