Families in Tennessee express their frustration and stress over the TCAP test once again

Families in Tennessee are feeling a range of emotions — anxiety, worry, and upset — as they learn that their children may have to repeat the third grade.

Thousands of students recently completed the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) test. However, third-grade students who receive scores of “approaching” or “below expectations” on the exam may face the possibility of being held back.

If you search for “TCAP” on Facebook, you’ll come across numerous posts from parents expressing their recent frustrations with the state test. Among them is a heartfelt photo of Sunsaray Johnson from Tullahoma. Tears are streaming down her face as she reads a letter informing her that she was only “approaching” on the TCAP.

Fallon Johnson, the mother of the girl, expressed her sadness as she narrated the heart-wrenching incident. “She got it out of her backpack, and she opened it, and it broke her heart,” Johnson recalled.

Silas, Kayla Willis’ son, attends school in Cumberland County and had a similar response.

“He began with a heartfelt inquiry, asking, ‘Am I stupid? What is wrong with me?’ and let out a sorrowful cry,” Willis recalled. “The scene was truly heartbreaking.”

Silas and Sunsaray, despite living miles apart, share a similar story. They are both exceptional students at their respective elementary schools who tackled the TCAP without any fear.

Fallon shared that the woman expressed her confidence in her performance, saying, “I thought I did great.”

Willis recalled how confident he was as he walked into the test that day. According to Willis, he exuded a sense of certainty, saying confidently, “I got this.”

Both Sunsaray and Silas have been given the opportunity to retake the TCAP before May 31, as mandated by the Tennessee Department of Education. Failing to pass the test by this deadline would result in certain consequences for their family.

1.) You can file an appeal anytime between May 28 and June 28.

2.) Consider enrolling in summer school.

Summer school can be a great opportunity to continue your education and make progress towards your goals. It provides a chance to take additional courses or catch up on any subjects that you may have struggled with during the regular school year. By enrolling in summer school, you can enhance your knowledge, improve your academic performance, and even get ahead in your studies. It’s an excellent way to make the most of your summer and invest in your future.

Enroll in fourth-grade tutoring sessions

This week, Gov. Bill Lee took a significant step by enacting a law that has rescued 12,000 children from the burden of repeating the fourth grade. Under this new legislation, students who opt for tutoring during the academic year will no longer be held back solely based on their TCAP score. Instead, a collaborative decision will be made by the principal, teacher, and the student’s family to determine whether or not repeating the fourth grade is the most suitable course of action.

Johnson and Willis both want to engage in a conversation with lawmakers at the Tennessee State Capitol, aiming to bring about changes to the Third Grade Retention Law.

“It’s not fair for the government to restrict those children and make decisions on their behalf,” Johnson expressed.

“I hope that by sharing this and by putting a face to the struggles that third graders are experiencing, we can grab the attention of policymakers at the state level,” Willis expressed. “My aim is to elicit a response and bring about some much-needed change.”

According to WSMV, only a very small percentage of students, approximately 1%, were held back last year. WSMV4 has reached out to the TDOE to inquire about the number of students facing retention this year, but has not received a response yet.

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