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School Districts Are Receiving TCAP ELA Scores, Here's What It Could Mean for Third Grade Students

JACKSON, Tenn. - Just a few hours ago, the Jackson Madison County school system released a statement regarding some concerns with the controversial new third grade retention law.

A total of 833 students participated in the third grade ELA TCAP testing in April.

Students are being placed into four different categories depending on their reading test score: exceeds expectation, met expectation, approaching expectation, and below expectation.

“As somebody who’s taught English for almost 20 years, even though it’s on the secondary level, not elementary, a standardized test is such a poor way to measure reading comprehension for a third-grade student. In fact, a standardized test doesn't measure reading comprehension.”

Gabe Hart is an English teacher at Jackson Central-Merry early college high school, and believes that standardized assessments, such as the TCAP, are not the right way to measure reading proficiency.

He believes that what these assessments measure instead are state standards.

As school districts are receiving these test scores back, it is up to districts and families to work together to help students who may not have passed.

“Literature can be very subjective, especially when you’re looking at multiple choice options about how a student interprets a certain text, and I think that’s where the issue is… because there are certain questions on TCAP or TN Ready that do cover basic comprehension.”

The Tennessee Department of Education reports attending a learning loss bridge camp, working with a tutor, or retaking the TCAP test for ELA again are options if a student has not passed the state standards.

If your child took the third grade TCAP in April, it is advised you stay up to date with your school district’s updates to best help your child move forward for this upcoming school year.

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