Haslam: State made ‘accountable decision’ in TCAP delay

While critics charge the state’s education chief should be held accountable for a delay releasing test scores, Gov. Bill Haslam said there’s little for the state to regret.

“What you have to remember is this decision was driven by the fact that we, with new Common Core standards, we have additional responsibility to make sure the test is accurate,” the governor told reporters Wednesday.

“An outside technical committee advised us to delay until they could make certain that all the equating happened in an accurate way. It would have been easier to send those out on time but that wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. So I think we made the accountable decision in this case,” he said.

Critics of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman have used the delay to reignite calls for his resignation. News the state would deliver scores late as most schools release students and teachers for the summer has resulted in 104 school districts getting permission from the department to opt out of legal requirements they factor students’ test scores into their final grades. The scores will still be used later as a factor in teacher evaluations.

That’s an “unfortunate consequence of a hard decision that the Department of Education had to make,” the governor said. “If you’re going to err, you’re going to err on the side of getting it right and taking a little longer.”