Letter to the Legislature

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

Dear legislators: I’ve been pondering your new law that requires retention of third graders who don’t pass the T-CAP test in the spring. Several of my friends were caught in this snare – it’s not that they can’t read so much as it is the requirement to be analytical on a multiple-choice test. Analysis is by definition subjective, while multiple-choice is objective.

Then I heard Speaker Cameron Sexton say you don’t plan to change the law because people have to be accountable. And I’m wondering why the accountability falls on me and my friends? We are not bad people, just 9-year-olds trying to get by as best we can.

Should not our teachers be accountable? The various coaches and support people from Central Office? Perhaps the superintendent himself should be retained after work for a few weeks during the summer so he can ponder ways to get third-graders to pass this test.

But wait. That’s not fair.

Because you, dear legislators, did not ask the teachers, supervisors or superintendent what they thought about this law. You just passed it.

Accountability starts with you. You have committed injustice on 9-year-olds who have never hurt you. Most of us can even read. If half the people fail a test, maybe the problem is with the test. Ah, but I’m being analytical. And what do I know? I’m only 9.


Sandy Sherlock

Knoxville TN

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