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TN Education Commissioner Discusses Need for Data to Inform COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

TENESSEE EDUCATION COMMISSIONER PENNY SCHWINN: “When we are able to measure student growth and learning through statewide assessments, we are able to best focus our efforts and student supports.”

In a follow-up to an interview with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on the importance of collecting statewide summative student assessment data this spring, the Collaborative for Student Success reached out to other state officials who have been leading on data collection to guide efforts to accelerate learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn agreed to share her department’s rationale on moving forward with state assessment this year – and how the state plans to use the data to benefit schools, parents, and students. This discussion comes after Tennessee lawmakers passed legislation pausing much of the state’s test-based accountability system, and after Schwinn defended the administration of tests, saying “It’s important to know how our kids are doing, and it’s important for our families to know.”

Read Commissioner Schwinn’s answers below or download the full Q&A here. 

About the Collaborative for Student Success

At our core, we believe leaders at all levels have a role to play in ensuring success for K-12 students. From ensuring schools and teachers are equipped with the best materials to spotlighting the innovative and bold ways federal recovery dollars are being used to drive needed changes, the Collaborative for Student Success aims to inform and amplify policies making a difference for students and families.

To recover from the most disruptive event in the history of American public schools, states and districts are leveraging unprecedented resources to make sure classrooms are safe for learning, providing students and teachers with the high-quality instructional materials they deserve, and are rethinking how best to measure learning so supports are targeted where they’re needed most. 

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