Tennessee third grade reading law: Nearly 8,000-win appeals, advance to fourth grade

The parents of more than 7,800 Tennessee third graders won appeals after filing them in hopes of keeping their children from being held back due to a new state reading law. Those children can now advance to the fourth grade with no additional steps. The law hinges on a single score on the standardized Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program test, also known as TNReady. It took effect this year. Third graders who fell short of the state’s proficiency threshold in the English language arts section must meet exemption standards, pass on a retake, enroll in summer school or tutoring, or win an appeal to move on to fourth grade.

Initial English language arts scores for third graders were released on May 19, setting off a fast-moving timeline for parents. A total of 60% of the state’s public school third graders fell short of the threshold. That figure includes those who are exempt. It is up to the districts to sort out exemptions.

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