I was reading this blog by Mercedes Schneider, and she wrote that Florida's NAEP gains were partly due to the fact that Florida stopped socially promoting 3rd graders, but it backfired on them because it was mostly their minorities that were being held back. Anyway, the blog said that "Jeb Bush tried to erase social promotion in the third grade by holding back number of third graders. Having these students repeat third grade offered the illusion of testing gains for fourth graders taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). In short, if more lower-performing students are kept out of fourth grade, then the resulting fourth-grade NAEP score improvement is misleading."
So that got me curious about TN. Do we socially promote 3rd graders? I searched online and lookie what I found!!!
- New LAW: http://www.tn.gov/sos/acts/107/pub/pc0351.pdf
- LAW Ammended to include 8th graders: http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/billinfo/BillSummaryArchive.aspx?BillNumber=HB3269&ga=107
Tennessee passed a law in 2011 that required Tennessee's 3rd graders to be held back if they aren't proficient. So, beginning in the 2011-12 school year in Tennessee, no more social promotions to 4th grade!
Why is this such a BIG DEAL?
The NAEP test is ONLY given to 4th and 8th graders!
And the NAEP test is only given every 2 years! (2011 & 2013)
So, those huge jumps for 4th grade Reading (5 points) and 4th grade Math (7 points) are, in large part, because there were no socially promoted students to take the test! They were all still in 3rd grade!!!
So, as Governor Haslam and Commissioner Huffman have traveled across the state bragging about being the "fastest improving state in the nation" they don't tell you the whole truth.
POP! (That was the sound of their bubble bursting)
TN was "fastest improving" because we left our failing students behind a grade before the last NAEP test.