TN lawmaker Holt to take English standardized test with students to examine assessment effectiveness

Elementary school teachers in Troy are furious over the standardized tests their students will be taking this semester and are calling on their state legislators to see for themselves. On Friday, October 30 at 12:00 PM, Tennessee State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) says he will be joining students at their desks as he himself sits for the Tennessee Ready Prep English Language Arts standardized exam at Hillcrest Elementary School in Troy.

“I have received phone calls from teachers all across NW Tennessee that are very upset with the new standardized tests our children are being required to take,” said Holt. “Today, I received a phone call from an 8th grade level five English and Language Arts teacher that says she tried to take the 6th grade exam and struggled to pass the exam herself. She wanted me to come and view theses exams, so I’m going to come and sit at a desk next to a student, and take the exam myself. If a highly trained 8th grade English teacher struggles to pass an exam given to ten year old 6th grade students, something is seriously wrong. I don’t know of any legislator that has ever sat in a class of elementary school students and taken part in their exams. It’s unconventional, but these teachers want to know that someone is fighting for them and their students. We are elected by the people to address their concerns and that’s what I plan to do.”

Last session, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a law that required the Common Core standards to be rescinded and replaced with new standards. However, school teachers from across the state feel that they are being misled about whether or not Common Core is actually going away.

“The vast majority of teachers hate Common Core. This isn’t a Republican vs. Democrat issue. It’s bad, and it has to go. I’m told that these ten year old students will be sitting for a test that is more than 100 minutes long that even their teachers cannot get a grip on,” said Holt. “The new standards that are going to replace Common Core have not been finalized yet, but teachers are being told these new tests are part of the new curriculum. This isn’t how our teachers should be forced to teach. This isn’t how our kids should be taught, and it has to come to an end. In fact, if these exams mirror Common Core, state law dictates it comes to an end.”

Representative Andy Holt represents Weakley, as well as, parts of Obion and Carroll Counties.


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