Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday a new program to provide school districts with cheaper options for obtaining laptops and tablets.
The project aims to make teachers more comfortable with the TNReady exams and to keep the testing program running after Haslam leaves office.
The announcement follows Haslam’s statewide listening tour, where teachers, students and parents expressed their concerns with the test.
Haslam said the state will implement a program that will identify vendors who can provide school districts with better testing technology at competitive rates.
“We understand that the state has to get this right,” Haslam said. “I mean, we can talk about all that we want, but at the end of the day, we have to be able to deliver a test that the technical platform works.”
TNReady came under fire in the spring, after the system crashed multiple times during the testing period. Thousands of students across the state were affected after testing vendor Questar made configuration changes to a cache server.
But the state is working to minimize future issues.
Candice McQueen, Tennessee’s commissioner of education, told reporters the state ran an online verification test Monday in which about 50,000 students participated. She said she was pleased with the results.
He expects to begin soliciting bids before he leaves office in January, but it will be up to the new governor to select the winner.