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Newly released TCAP test scores show 69% of Hardin County third graders can’t read adequately, many at risk of being held back

The Tennessee Department of Education released TCAP scores to the state’s school districts Friday and the results for third graders looking to advance to the fourth grade are not promising.
Overall, raw scores indicate more than half of the state’s third graders did not meet the scores required on the English Language Arts section of the TCAP to move on to the fourth grade. That’s unless they meet exemption standards, increase their scores on a retest, attend summer school, receive tutoring or file an appeal.
Hardin County results
Director of Hardin County Schools Michael Davis said raw scores for local third graders were not what educators anticipated.
“According to our calculations, our school system was right at 69% based on the actual TCAP test for all our third graders. We were anticipating, through our own benchmark assessments given throughout the school year, that it would be close to 65%.
“Although this number is much higher than we had hoped for, there are within this percentage a large number of students that will be exempt from this law due to any of them being retained in a prior grade, students that have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) with a noted reading deficiency, or an approved appeal based on the results from our universal screener. We anticipate the 69% to be reduced to approximately 30% once all these factors are reviewed by the state,” he explained.
Retake the test
The school year is already over, but Davis said students do have the opportunity to retake their TCAP test.
“Our school system is offering the following two dates to retest: Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 24, and Thursday, May 25,” he said.
Appeal the requirements
Davis also said some parents have the option to appeal the TCAP requirements for advancement.
“If a child tested in the ‘approaching’ category and finished in the 40th percentile or greater on their spring universal screener, then the parents can complete the appeal process.
“Also, if a student has had a qualifying catastrophic event prior to or during the TCAP test, then they can file an appeal as well.
“Parents should know that the window to appeal with the state opens on May 30 and there is only 14 days to submit. The Hardin County School System is more than willing to help our parents through the appeal process if they need our help.”
He added, “For our school system, the number of students that would qualify for the 40th percentile appeal would reduce the percentage of students being retained from 69% to 38% if all are approved. This data shows everyone the importance to complete the appeals form if their child falls in this category.”
Attend summer school
Davis said the district has been preparing for more students attending summer school this year.
“We have been planning now for several weeks in preparation to address an anticipated increase in students attending summer learning. Until we have the results of the retake and appeals, we will not know a definite number attending.”
Summer school for Hardin County schools starts Monday, June 5, and ends Thursday, June 29. Summer school classes will be held Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
State law
Tennessee’s third grade retention law went into effect this year.
It mandates that students who fail the state’s TCAP English Language-Arts portion of the test will not advance to the fourth grade unless they attend summer school or agree to tutoring throughout the following school year. Exceptions are made for students with disabilities and students for whom English is their second language.

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