JACKSON, Tenn. – Jackson-Madison County teaching veteran Tiffani Harris has been selected for an important role in the future of the state’s standardized test known as TNReady. She and just 36 other educators, selected from more than 900 applicants from across Tennessee, have been chosen as the first-ever TNReady Ambassadors. They are tasked with serving as advisers, providing on-the-ground perspective and feedback during the 2018-2019 school year. “I feel honored to have been chosen from so many applicants,” she admitted. “I know there were so many qualified applicants who deserve this opportunity as well.”
Harris, who has been an educator for 18 years, currently serves as consulting teacher at Liberty Technology Magnet High School. “I hope to gain a better understanding of the TNReady mathematics assessment design,” Harris explained. “I believe it is a great opportunity to gain more insight from the state’s angle.”
With a background as a math teacher, Harris has also served as an assistant principal at Liberty and Jackson Central-Merry High School and worked as Math Supervisor for the District. “My primary responsibility as an ambassador is to serve as a math content expert for other math teachers,” Harris explained. She said that will include participating in item reviews, field testing TNReady versions, providing feedback on test directions and scripts, and conducting content review focused on alignment of test questions to Tennessee standards. “I will also observe human scoring and review test blueprints,” she added.
The Jackson native and South Side High School alumna expects her year-long assignment to be quite the commitment, but one she is looking forward to. “I expect hours after school per week and hours on the weekend,” she said. “But since the work is very similar to what I currently do, I don’t feel like the position is ‘work’ as much as it will help me in my current role.” All ambassadors will receive stipends from the state for their work.
Harris holds a Bachelor’s from the University of Tennessee at Martin and earned her Master’s and Education Specialist from Freed-Hardeman University. She and her husband, Vincent, have a 3-year-old daughter, Karter.
The TNReady Ambassadors will meet as a group in Nashville in September. However, Harris said they have already received a calendar of expectations through their year of service, which ends in July of 2019.
The ambassador program is just one of several adjustments that have been made by the Tennessee Department of Education to better ensure that students can take the TNReady without disruption. They include the hiring of a new Executive Director of Assessment Logistics and a TNReady Customer Service Specialist.