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Knox Co. Board of Education considers new requirements for elementary students

Third grade students in Knox Co. who do not score well on the English and language arts section of the end-of-year TCAP may be held back a year.
Third grade students in Knox Co. who do not score well on the English and language arts section of the end-of-year TCAP may be held back a year.
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 3:11 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 10:38 AM EST
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New Requirements For Elementary Students

Under the new policy, third-grade students who score below in English and language arts must be held back for the following year, unless remedial actions are taken https://bit.ly/3DHdAzb

Posted by WVLT on Thursday, December 9, 2021

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Third grade students in Knox County who do not score well on the English and language arts (ELA) section of the end-of-year TCAP may be held back a year, according to a new proposed policy. The Knox County Board of Education is set to discuss the new policy on Wednesday, and vote on it in January.

Under the new policy, third grade students who score below “on track” or “mastered” on the ELA section of the TCAP must be held back for the following year, unless remedial actions are taken.

The introduction of the policy follows a new Tennessee law aimed at increasing literacy levels among children.

Under the new policy, students that do not score high enough on the test may continue to the fourth grade if they do one of the following:

  • The student scores “proficient” on a retest.
  • The student attends a learning loss camp and maintains a 90% attendance rate and shows adequate growth in a post-camp test.
  • The student participates in the Tennessee Accelerated Literacy and Learning Corps in the fourth grade.

There are also exceptions in place for English language learner (ELL) students. An ELL student may move on if:

  • The ELL student has had less than two years of ELA instruction.
  • The student was held back previously.
  • The student scores “proficient” on a retest.

Schools would also be required to identify students at risk of being held back by Feb. 1, should the policy pass. Parents of the students will be notified within 15 days should their child be considered at risk.

WVLT News spoke to Knox County Board of Education member Daniel Watson, who said that third grade is too late to consider bolstering reading education. Instead, he said he would prefer parents take actions before their children reach third grade to encourage reading.

The full proposed policy can be read below:

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