Three House Democrats are hitting up the Department of Education for records shedding light on the internal decision making that led to a delay in the release of preliminary student test scores last week.
Nashville Democrats Bo Mitchell and Mike Stewart joined with Knoxville Democrat Gloria Johnson in filing an open records request seeking emails and documents relating to the delay, TCAP results, how the data was processed, what test questions the department omitted and how the story was picked up by the media.
“It seems improbable that your Department was simply unaware that such an unprecedented delay would be warranted until the very day that the scores were to be revealed,” read a letter from the three lawmakers.
The department put superintendents on notice last week that third through eighth grade students' test scores would not be ready on time for teachers to factor into final grades, as required by state law. The department then decided to issue waivers to school districts wanting to omit the test scores instead of revising report cards or returning teachers to school during summer break. Gov. Bill Haslam said he backed the department’s decision to wait on scores despite criticism for the delay.
Two of the three Democrats pushing for the public records — Mitchell and Johnson — are facing targeted opposition from Republicans in this November's general election.
It's fair to ask whether the Department of Education could have forseen a delay sending schools their students' TCAP scores sooner, said Gov. Bill Haslam, but he argues he thinks the state acted as soon as it could.
POSTDATA: WARRANTY DEEDS