‘Pandemic or not’: Nashville parent group pushes for accountability in TCAP testing

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As students prepare for end-of-course assessment testing, one advocacy group for Nashville students and parents, is questioning how Tennessee’s education leaders plan to equalize the playing field for students in underserved communities.

“This is not an attack on anyone,” said Sonya Thomas. “This is about making sure that we don’t lose a generation of our children.”

TCAP testing is set to begin April 21st. Under normal circumstances, testing results would not only gauge the students grade-level knowledge, but also serve as an assessment of how well teachers instruct curriculum. However this year, Tennessee lawmakers removed any consequences for teachers with under-performing students.

“Our children deserve the very best whether it’s in a pandemic or not,” said Sonya Thomas, executive director for Nashville PROPEL, an organization representing parents in Metro Nashville Public Schools. “It’s not about chastising teachers. It’s about making sure that our students get the things that they need to be successful. There must be accountability.”

Instead, Thomas says there should be an expectation for all educators to uphold the same standards as previous years. More specifically, Thomas says she’d like to see a detailed plan on how district and state leaders will ensure every child is retaining the information they need.

“We’re not here to attack teachers,” said Thomas. “But there’s an expectation. School has been in since August. Whether it’s been virtual or in person. So, the expectation is, when our children go to school, whether they are at home or they are in a classroom, that they are taught and that they are learning.”

“Our children deserve the very best whether it’s in a pandemic or not,” Thomas said.

TCAP results are expected late summer or early fall.

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