ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — Anderson County Schools said Thursday they passed three significant resolutions. The first asked state leaders to give school districts more freedom to decide whether a student should graduate.
In 2021, the Tennessee legislature passed a law requiring third-grade students who are not proficient in English language arts to be held back from advancing to the next grade. Their skill with English would be determined by their performance on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program.
It allowed students to advance to the next grade if they are an English-language-learner who received less than two years of ELA lessons, if they were previously held back, or if they were retested before the next school year and received higher scores. They could also choose to attend a "learning loss bridge camp" before the following school year, or be assigned a tutor through a store program to help throughout the next school year.
In the Anderson County resolution, they said most states who have similar legislation included provisions that allow school districts to choose to promote students who were not proficient in English. In that legislation, districts could use their own data to show progress even if it is not reflected in state tests.
They said without that provision, the state could be unfairly affecting students who may not perform well on standardized tests but still show proficiency in the classroom.
The Anderson County Board of Education asked the legislature to amend the law and allow school districts to make graduation decisions for third-and-ourth-grade students based on their information, not just state tests.
The board also passed a resolution meant to honor bus drivers by establishing a day to appreciate them. Bus Driver Appreciation Day will be on September 15 and they encouraged students, parents and staff to join in honoring bus drivers.
Finally, they passed a resolution to buy property near Clinton High School to build a welding and industrial maintenance lab, as well as classrooms for students interested in learning trade skills. The property cost $275,000.