Tennessee approves appeals of third-grade reading retention law

Published 10:40 am Wednesday, July 26, 2023

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More than 86% of the appeals filed related to Tennessee’s third-grade retention law succeeded and the student will advance to fourth grade in the first year of the new standards.

The Tennessee Department of Education said it approved 7,812 appeals from 9,054 unique students in the process, with the deadline of June 30 to apply to appeal a score.

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If students were part of the 60% in the state that did not receive a passing score on the reading portion of the Tennessee Comprehensive Academic Program test, they were allowed to retake the test.

If they scored “approaching” on the test but did not pass, they could then appeal the result with the state or participate in a four-week reading summer camp with 90% attendance or commit to take tutoring throughout fourth grade in order to advance.

Most districts had less than 25% of students who took the retake test score “proficient.”

The Tennessee Accelerating Literacy and Learning Corps tutoring involves 30- to 40-minute small group sessions two or three times a week throughout the school year.

“Throughout the summer, students, as well as their families, have remained engaged in making the best possible decisions about their education, seeking out academic supports in summer camp and tutoring during the upcoming school year,” Commissioner of Education Lizzette Reynolds said in a statement. “Looking ahead, the department will continue to support districts and schools to ensure all students can get a great education in the coming school year, through strong classroom instruction and additional learning supports like tutoring.”