Hamilton County School Board Votes Down Resolution Against Retention Law

Image Credit: Hamilton County Schools / YouTube

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

The Hamilton County School Board voted to not approve a resolution that would oppose a state law requiring schools to retain third graders who are not reading on grade level when they met last Thursday.

As reported by The Chattanoogan, in order for the resolution to be submitted to the state, it would have to receive votes from six board members. Only five voted in favor: Jill Black, Karitsa Jones, Gary Kuehn, Marco Perez, and Tiffanie Robinson.

Perez helped write the resolution, which he says is similar to the ones already passed by 21 other Tennessee school districts.

He says that parents and teachers should be held accountable for a child’s lack of progress, not the student.

“We think the law as written is poorly written,” Perez stated. “It’s holding a third grader accountable.”

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Those opposed to the state law also take issue with the fact that a student’s retention is based on a single factor: their TCAP scores.

Jones added, “It’s hard to say this one test implicates what a teacher can do with a kid.”   

Black also argued that the law goes against what many have been fighting for in other areas, saying it is the “opposite of parents’ rights.”

Faye Robinson, Rhonda Thurman, and Joe Wingate all voted against the resolution, acknowledging that the state law is not perfect, with Wingate noting that it is “expedient, not excellent.”

Thurman stated, “Until children can read, nothing else matters.”

Board members Ben Connor, who also helped write the resolution, and Larry Grohn were not in attendance at the meeting.

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