WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Third graders across the state of Tennessee are at risk of being held back.
Over the weekend, parents were notified if their child scored below proficiency on the English Language Arts (ELA) portion of the TCAP. A new state law determines the fate of third graders based on those results.
Parents in Wilson County told News 2 they are furious with the law, pointing out that it’s affecting their child’s mental health.
“We taught them stress, we taught them anxiety we taught them fear,” said Kelsey Evert, a parent of a Wilson County student.
Evert told News 2 that his child did score proficient, however, testing has affected his mental health.
“For the first two days of TCAP, my straight A student who had never made a B cried himself to sleep, then cried on his way to school,” Evert said.
“‘We are writing to inform you that your child scored below proficiency on the ELA portion,’” Jennifer Gentry said.
That is part of the email Gentry and a few hundred Wilson County parents received on Friday evening.
“I spent all weekend trying to figure out how I was going to break this to her,” said Jessica Padgett.
Padgett plans to appeal her daughter’s score after she performed in the 92nd percentile in the state’s I-Ready test.
Appealing is just one option moving forward.
“Either through the retake of the test that’s this week, or the summer camp option coming in June, also the free tutoring that will be available next fall,” said Bart Barker with Wilson County Schools.
However, parents told News 2, retesting will only add more anxiety and pressure.
On top of that, parents are now scrambling to rearrange their summer plans.
“For our options, we are looking at, yeah, he has to go to summer camp, but can they work around what he is already signed up for,” said Amy Bonds. “If they can’t, we are looking at options of pulling him from the school system because we are not going to allow them to hold back based off one test score.”
In Wilson County, 50.2% of third graders scored at the proficient level on the ELA portion. Approximately 500 students scored below proficient.
Families can appeal starting May 30. Summer learning camp will begin on June 5.