Lawmaker to Education Commissioner McQueen: 'Step aside'

Apr 19, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen says she has no plans to resign following another round of problems with Tennessee’s new online academic testing system.

On Monday schools statewide reported students having trouble signing in to the system and saving test results. Education officials had that problem solved by late Monday, but students had still more trouble the day after.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen
Credit tn.gov

McQueen now says Tuesday’s problems were likely the result of a cyber-attack.

In a House Committee meeting Wednesday, State Lawmakers made it clear they’re fed up with the ongoing problems. McQueen received a tongue lashing from legislators of both parties during a House committee meeting.

Nashville Democrat Mike Stewart led off the grilling by asking McQueen to step down.

“Once again after months and months and years of failures your department has failed. It’s time for you to resign and step aside and let somebody else come in and try their hand.”

McQueen responded she had no intention of resigning and outlined measures to solve the problems.

“We continue to work directly with our vendor to make sure that have continued improvement and success throughout the next several weeks, and we anticipate that every day we’ll continue to show that we have more and more students completing the test online.”

In the 2015-16 school year the online system failed completely, requiring schools to return to paper tests. Last school year the contractor scored some tests incorrectly.

Commissioner McQueen says the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been asked to look into whether Tuesday’s troubles were, in fact, the result of a cyber-attack.