Knox Co. parents react to TCAP testing results for third-graders

More than 1,600 third-grade students failed the ELA portion of the TCAP testing in Knox County.
Published: May. 20, 2023 at 10:45 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Late Friday night Knox County Schools released the results of their TCAP testing which determines which students are able to move on from the third to the fourth grade.

It was discovered that 36% of all third-graders in the district failed the ELA portion of the testing which means they won’t be allowed to move on to the fourth grade until action is taken.

With more than 4,400 students in the third grade, this means that there are now more than 1,600 families that are forced to make a decision in a matter of hours.

To move to the fourth grade, a student will have an option to retake the test and try to pass again, take summer learning alongside tutoring, or repeat the third grade altogether. According to Knox County Schools, parents have until the end of Sunday to decide on whether or not their child will retake the test.

“Yeah that’s not very long for parents to plan that out. As a parent that would be a tough decision I’d have to make very quickly,” said Knox Co. parent and teacher Jen Cooper.

At the Children’s Festival of Reading at World’s Fair Park hundreds gathered to encourage learning and reading for their families, while the topic of these newly released scores were on the mind of many in attendance.

“We need to try to help kids where they’re at and not push them to where someone else has told them to be. We all do things at our own rate,” said Knox Co. parent Sage Melton.

As for ways to ensure your child stays on pace for reading, Mary Pom Claiborne with the Knox County Public Library said it’s all about choosing something your child wants to read.

“Selecting interesting materials and just slow down, take the time sound out the words. Decode those words and then you get it and once you get it, you get it and then it’s fun,” said Claiborne.

As of Saturday afternoon, more than 1,500 students in the third grade are signed up for summer learning, which is data that doesn’t account for those who might have signed up after learning TCAP testing results according to KCS.