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Tennessee House Democrats call for Education Commissioner’s Resignation

Tennessee House DemocratsNashville, TN – The Tennessee House Democratic Caucus yesterday called for the resignation of Candace McQueen, the state Commissioner of Education.

The move comes in the wake of problems administering the statewide testing system known as TN Ready.

The on-line tests experienced connectivity problems Tuesday across the state, followed by apparently different connection problems Wednesday. Education officials said on Twitter that Wednesday’s issues may have been attributable to a cyber “attack”.

Tennessee State Capitol
Tennessee State Capitol

Two years ago, the assessment tests had to be cancelled in some grades due to a massive platform failure. Other grades had to take paper-and-pencil tests. That caused the platform vendor to be fired and replaced with a new vendor.

After a phase-in period last year, the full set of on-line tests was supposed to be administered this year, and then this occurred. In an impromptu press conference in front of the House chamber this afternoon, Democrats said enough is enough and called for her to step down.

Nashville Representative John Ray Clemmons said “These tests are the cornerstone of state accountability for teachers and students. It is now time to hold Commissioner McQueen and the Tennessee Department of Education accountable for their repeated failures in administering these tests. Commissioner McQueen has had the opportunity to perform year after year, and yet again she has gotten an F on this test.”

“Every year we experience failure after failure and problem after problem,” State Representative Antonio Parkinson (Memphis) said today. “We are supposed to use these tests to assess the progress our schools are making, our school districts are making, our students are making and our teachers are making. It’s time to start making assessments about the progress our Department of Education and it’s leadership is making.”


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