JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Several area school districts’ TCAP score results show that more than half of their third graders will need to retake the English/ Language Arts (ELA) portion of the TCAP exam.
New state legislation went into effect this school year, requiring third graders to score proficiently on the ELA portion of their TCAP exam in order to move on to the next grade level.
News Channel 11 was provided percentages of third-grade students who met the required score in ELA by the following school districts:
- Bristol City Schools – 50.7% of third-grade students scored proficient or advanced
- Carter County Schools – 37% of third-grade students scored proficient or advanced
- Elizabethton City Schools – 49.7% of third-grade students scored proficient or advanced
- Hawkins County Schools – 32.3% of third-grade students scored proficient or advanced
- Johnson City Schools – 65% of third-grade students scored proficient or advanced
- Johnson County Schools – 29.2% of third-grade students scored proficient or advanced
- Kingsport City Schools – 45.4% of third-grade students scored proficient or advanced
- Unicoi County Schools – 29.2% of third-grade students scored proficient or advanced
- Washington County Schools – 49.1% of third-grade students scored proficient or advanced
News Channel 11 received the following percentages from director of schools for Sullivan County Schools, “Our proficiency rate is 38.2% proficient with exemptions and 50% without exemptions.”
Many school districts spent Monday reviewing those scores, communicating with parents and coordinating for students to retake the exam. Under Tennessee’s third-grade retention law, students who are approaching the passing score must either meet the required score upon a retest, go to summer school or receive tutoring next school year in order to advance to the fourth grade.
If a student scored in the below category and does not receive the score needed, they must both go to summer school and be tutored next year to advance to fourth grade.
Kingsport City Schools had its last day of the school year Friday, and officials have been working to communicate with anxious parents and students.
“Right now, we’re really focusing in on that individual student contact because we know parents are anxious about this,” said Assistant Superintendent for Kingsport City Schools Andy True. “Kids are anxious about this.”
True informed News Channel 11 that 45.4% of third graders met or exceeded the state expectations. He said he expects about 21% of students will have better results once they retest.
“We are communicating with parents, making sure that they have that information,” said True. “To know exactly what their situation is with their child and know what those next steps can be.”
Washington County Schools has used a teacher work day to start coordinating with parents after sorting through the numbers.
“It’s all been discussion up to this point, but now with the data, now it’s action,” said Washington County Director of Schools Jerry Boyd.
In Washington County Schools, 50.9% of third-graders did not meet the required score. But like Kingsport City Schools, Boyd said his results show that many students were close, and he believes more will meet the mark after retesting.
“We anticipate a good number of students on this abbreviated third-grade ELA retake test to overcome that threshold,” said Boyd.
Both Kingsport City Schools and Washington County Schools begin their retest process Tuesday. They are both scheduled to begin summer school on June 5.
Multiple school districts told News Channel 11 that they are looking at appeal and exemption options for students who did not receive proficient or advanced scores.