Reading law could hold back over 2,000 students, MSCS officials say

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Published: Mar. 11, 2023 at 2:48 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 11, 2023 at 3:17 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Over 2,000 Memphis-Shelby County third-grade students are at risk of being held back academically under Tennessee’s retention law for students who have difficulty reading.

This estimate is based on the students’ performances on the i-Ready reading proficiency diagnostic assessments. This assessment determines the reading levels and capability of MSCS students.

Assessments like this are considered predictors of how students will perform on the English section of TCAP, a statewide comprehensive test.

According to MSCS’s performance analysis presented by the chief Jaron Carson, over 6,000 students took the exam this winter and more than 4,000 scored below the proficiency level.

Ruling out those with learning disabilities, that would leave roughly 2,000 students held back under the retention law.

Despite local efforts to revise and overturn the law, Gov. Bill Lee is refusing to make any revisions and is sticking by the retention law as is.

MSCS board members are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. They are expecting an estimated 2,700 students to receive retention letters.

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