Dickson County parents question why more than half of 3rd graders fail portion of TCAP test

55% of third graders fail a portion of TCAP tests
WSMV4's Sharon Danquah reports.
Published: May. 20, 2023 at 11:07 PM CDT
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DICKSON, Tenn. (WSMV) - The TCAP results are in and more than half of third graders in Dickson County are officially at risk of being held back. Parents are saying this is ridiculous.

Officials said 55% of Dickson County third graders in elementary school like this failing the English and language arts portion of the test and parents are outraged.

It’s a trip Dickson County grandparent Kathryn Sellers said she watches her grandchildren make daily.

“They can just walk to the school,” Sellers said.

But weeks ago, that hundred-yard walk became a nightmare... all because of TCAP testing... and a controversial new law.

“I’ve seen him just breakdown and cry, literally throw a fit not to go to school,” Sellers said, “I told them I’ve never seen those kids stressed as bad as they were, it literally made them sick.”

A series of standardized tests, now deciding if Tennessee students will move on or repeat the 3rd grade.

“We did get a letter for our third grader that if he does score bellow, then it’s a possibility,” said Dickson County 3rd grade parent Dana Bryant.

Saturday, Dickson County Schools says 55% of those third graders did not pass the English and Language Arts portion of the text.

Those students now have four options ahead of them:

  • Retake the test and do better
  • Go to summer school
  • Hire a tutor for next year
  • Repeat the third grade

With the results in, many parents have a long list of questions for the district.

“I wouldn’t say I was surprised. I’m not surprised. I feel like it’s the way the education is, it’s the way they are being taught,” Brant said

“If they are failing, where is that coming from? Something’s not right,” Sellers said.

Now, with summer school starting in a matter of weeks and spots filling up fast families have a big decision ahead of them.

“I don’t know what they are going to do. I’m sure they’re not going to have enough funding or teachers to teach that many people summer school,” Sellers said.

Right now, every school district in Tennessee has their students’ English-language arts scores. Some districts have already sent them out to the parents.

Others like Dickson are waiting until Monday.

“I’ve seen it through my grandkids, and I’ve got times a grandkids and great grandkids too and I just hate to see them suffer,” Sellers said.

Now both parents and students are anxiously waiting to see if they’re in that 55 percent.