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Parents upset over third grade retention law

By Chuck Morris

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — Parents voiced frustration at a meeting over a new law that could lead to many students being held back if they don’t do well on their TCAP tests.

The law, passed by state lawmakers in 2021, will require third graders who don’t do well on their English Language Arts TCAP to be held back or be required to go to summer school.

About two-thirds of students across Tennessee are considered at risk.

Parents said it’s not fair to base everything off just one test.

“For eight and nine year olds, it’s not appropriate to be them under this much stress,” Sarah Parker said. “I know that I’ve tried really hard not to even let my daughter know yet how big a deal this is. She could have just a really anxious morning and totally bomb that test, and that shouldn’t mean she doesn’t get to go to fourth grade.”

Metro Nashville Public Schools said it is putting resources in place to make sure every student will advance to the fourth grade.

“We have the tools in place for your kid to be able to be promoted to fourth grade,” Sean Braisted, Metro Schools Executive Officer of Communications, said. “It may require them to attend summer learning camps that run throughout the month of June. It may require that they receive tutoring support in the upcoming school year.”

There will be a town hall to discuss the new law on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Woodbine United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m. The church is located at 2621 Nolensville Pike.

To participate in the town hall, sign up online, email or message 615-463-8085.

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