Fewer MSCS third graders dealing with retention after studying retest

Jun 8, 2023 0 Comments

About 1 in 5 Memphis Shelby-County Colleges third graders who took a state retest in studying final month succeeded in incomes a neater path to fourth grade — some 1,200 college students in all. 

Roughly 500 college students within the district did nicely sufficient on the retest to have the ability to go straight to fourth grade, with out summer season faculty or tutoring, in accordance with outcomes launched Wednesday by the Tennessee Division of Schooling. The opposite 700 improved sufficient that they’ll select both summer season faculty or tutoring to advance, somewhat than having to attend each. 

That also leaves massive numbers of MSCS third graders — together with hundreds extra throughout the state — who might must take part in each interventions to keep away from being held again underneath the state’s new retention legislation for struggling readers.

The retest outcomes give districts and the state a fuller image of the influence of the 2021 legislation, which took impact with this yr’s third graders

The outcomes launched Wednesday nonetheless don’t account for college students who efficiently attraction their scores, and those who’re exempt from the legislation as a result of they’ve restricted English proficiency or studying disabilities, or have been retained earlier than. And the schooling division — which is at present present process modifications in management — has launched solely district-level outcomes, with out offering statewide figures or evaluation.

However in MSCS, the state’s largest district, the retest made a distinction for a whole bunch of scholars who had been initially recognized as being in danger for retention, primarily based on their English language arts scores on the Tennessee Complete Evaluation Program. About three-quarters of MSCS third graders didn’t rating proficient on the preliminary take a look at administered within the spring, one of many worst charges within the state. 

Critics of the take a look at have mentioned it doesn’t particularly measure studying abilities, making it a poor criterion for figuring out whether or not third graders might be promoted.

Statewide, some 74,000 college students, or 60% of third graders, didn’t reveal proficiency on the preliminary TCAP English language arts take a look at. 

However in contrast to most different Tennessee districts, MSCS obtained virtually all the scholars who didn’t go the primary take a look at to take the same retest in the course of the remaining weeks of college.

“We’re pleased with college students who participated within the retake for exploring this pathway,” interim state Schooling Commissioner Sam Pearcy mentioned in a press release concerning the scores.

Clay County Colleges, a small district in north central Tennessee, reaped vital advantages from the retest. Whereas solely half the third graders eligible for a retest participated, three-fifths of them did nicely sufficient to attain proficient and transfer mechanically to fourth grade. 

For many faculty districts, although, enhancements from the retest had been extra modest. 

Listed below are key takeaways from a assessment of the district-level outcomes: 

  • Half of Tennessee districts had between 10% and 20% of their college students obtain proficiency on the retest. 
  • A 3rd of Tennessee districts had between 10% and 20% of scholars enhance from the bottom efficiency degree — “under” proficiency — to the next-highest degree, “approaching” proficiency.
  • Just below half of Tennessee districts had fewer than 10% of scholars enhance from “under” to “approaching.”
  • Somewhat greater than half of Tennessee districts had a retest participation fee of fifty% or extra. 

Outcomes for every district are within the chart under.

Thomas Wilburn and Nadia Bey contributed information evaluation. 

Laura Testino covers Memphis-Shelby County Colleges for Chalkbeat Tennessee. Attain Laura at LTestino@chalkbeat.org.

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