NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — According to the Tennessee Department of Education, under this this current law, more than half of third graders could be held back.
Jack Willey’s son is a third grader in Metro Nashville Public Schools. Willey said his son is directly impacted by the state's third grade retention law.
This third-grade retention law is really catastrophic for our children," Jack Willey said. "There are so many third graders that are at risk of being held back, including my child.
State data shows almost 65% of third graders statewide would not score high enough to move on to fourth grade.
“We're honestly concerned that a lot of the pressure that we're having is being placed on these kids and the teachers,” Cath Carrillo a first-grade public charter school parent said.
FOX 17 News reporter Payton Muse asked senator Jon Lundberg, who is on the Education Committee, about the law.
Senator Lundberg said everyone should be upset that students are not reading at grade level.
“Some parents and educational leaders feel that this should be left between the parents and the teachers, local schools, what is your response to that?" Payton Muse asked.
“That's how it's been for decades," Senator Lundberg said. "And look at the results. They speak for themselves and I don't know how to argue with it. And you know, people say, well, 'it's unfair to do one test one time.' It's not one test, one time. You could take it multiple times."
State Representative Gloria Johnson said this shouldn't be in the hands of lawmakers and is working on a plan to repeal it.
“The reality is third grade retention should be determined by the local school, the teacher, the principal, the reading specialist in that school, who knows that child and the parents." State Representative Gloria Johnson said.
Parent Jack Willey has a challenge for law makers.
I encourage state leaders to step into the classroom and sub for a few days.” Willey said.
State Senator Jon Lundberg said he supports the plan but is open to updating the law.
He said this is all about setting kids up for success, not holding them back but making sure students have the fundamentals down.
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