Several school boards in our area have taken a stance against a Tennessee law that will hold back third-grade students who score failing marks on standardized tests in English.
Both Johnson City’s and Washington County’s elected school leaders signed resolutions against to new law enacted to address underperforming students who may have suffered learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Press reporter Amber Brophy, administrators and educators object to the loss of local decision-making in the difficult decision to hold students back a grade and don’t believe the basis for the law’s metric, which will be triggered if the student scores below proficient on a state TCAP test, is adequate.
Johnson City Schools Board of Education Chair Kathy Hall told Brophy the law puts tremendous pressure on third-grade students to pass a single test on a single day or face repeating a grade.
Washington County Schools Superintendent Jerry Boyd said decisions to keep students back should be made with input from teachers and families, not a one-size-fits-all approach that the current law employs.
If the law is not changed, it could affect thousands of students in the state, including many in our area. That’s why we wanted to ask our readers this week: Should Tennessee change the Third Grade Retention Law? Why or why not? What changes would you propose, if any?
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