FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2023
Clarksville, Tennessee – May 26, 2023 – In response to T.C.A. § 49-6-3115, also known as the ‘3rd grade retention law,’ recently enacted in the State of Tennessee, the Montgomery County Democratic Party (MCDP) in Clarksville passed a resolution to formally renounce this law. The law grants the state the power to retain any third-grader who scores below the “met or exceeded expectations” threshold on a single statewide test. Furthermore, the law mandates summer tutoring or camp programs without providing a clear plan for funding these initiatives.
The MCDP vehemently opposse this legislation as it strips local school districts, teachers, and parents of their control over retention decisions, and further burdens an underfunded and understaffed education system.
“The decision to retain a student, using multiple assessments, should remain with the teacher, parent and district, not with the state. Using data from one high stakes test, that does not solely assess reading fluency, to insinuate that our 3rd graders cannot read is disingenuous. This 3rd grade retention law is purposely orchestrated to undermine public education. We need to hold those legislators who voted for this law accountable not the 3rd graders who are victims of it,” stated a member of the MCDP Educator’s Caucus.
Clarksville representatives, Sen. Bill Powers and Rep. Curtis Johnson, voted in favor of the Third Grade Retention Law, and Rep. Jeff Burkhart supported a similar bill during the recent legislative session. The MCDP urges the Clarksville Delegation to the Tennessee State Legislature to swiftly repeal this misguided grade retention policy.
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