Adequate growth defined for summer school

As Tennessee third graders who fell short of a new state standard to move on to fourth grade navigate the next steps, the state education board has given a long-awaited definition to a key term: “adequate growth.”

The term appears in the state’s guidelines for students who scored as “approaching” proficiency on the English language arts section of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program test this spring. The state released raw scores for that section of the TCAP to districts Friday.

Per the guidelines, those students have a chance to attend summer school and demonstrate adequate growth to advance to fourth grade.

The same day as the raw scores released, the state board of education defined “adequate growth” during a regular meeting as a student scoring at least 5 percentage points higher on a post-summer school test than their baseline score. The baseline can be either their initial TCAP English language arts score or their retake score. Retesting and summer school dates vary by district.

Children read in Samantha Simms' third grade class at Goodlettsville Elementary School in Nashville on May 15.

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The growth measurement does not apply to students who score as below proficiency. Instead, they must attend summer school and take on a free, state-provided tutor for the entirety of fourth grade.

The third graders must also meet a 90% attendance rate at summer school, regardless of whether they score below or approach proficiency.

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