Monday, the Tennessee Department of Education (TDE) released statewide average scores on TCAP English Language Arts (ELA) that show what it called in a press release, “historic gains in third grade reading,” despite the fact that some 60% of Tennessee third graders scored under the state threshold and now face the risk of being held back a grade under a new state law.
Instead of focusing on the possible effects of the so-called “Third Grade Retention Law” in the announcement, state officials instead touted gains made after their implementation of a “comprehensive K-3 literacy strategy for Tennessee public schools.”
This year, the General Assembly passed legislation to extend summer learning camps and expand the eligibility age to rising kindergarten through 9th grade. Beginning this summer, students who will “benefit from additional learning support” may qualify for a summer learning camp opportunity and participation requirements for promotion to fourth grade.
In its announcement, the state said that in the coming weeks, districts and schools will work with families to determine the best pathway for their students.
On Friday, individual ELA scores for third graders were shared with Tennessee school districts, which are responsible for communicating with families about their student’s score and pathways to fourth grade promotion, including the TCAP retake opportunity, free summer camp and/or tutoring in the upcoming school year.