SCS Parents Ask To Opt Out Of TCAP Test

(Memphis) Next week begins TCAP testing for schools all over Tennessee.

However, a growing number of parents are trying to opt out of these tests.

How well students do on the TCAP tests do next week helps determine if their teachers get to keep their jobs, and it’s now a big factor in them passing to the next grade.

Some parents are now saying enough with all the pressure on their kids.

Shelby County Schools held rallies to get students excited about TCAP tests next week but some parents like Jennifer Proseus see nothing to cheer about.

“The amount of time they spend testing and prep testing and the whole atmosphere of the school. Everything comes off the walls. It turns into a prison with concrete walls and blank bulletin boards,” Bartlett parent Jennifer Prosesus said.

This Bartlett mom asked Shelby County Schools to allow her children to opt out of TCAP after her third grader got sick last year just thinking about the test.

“It stressed her out enough that she missed a lot of school and was diagnosed with test anxiety,” said Proseus.

Proseus’ daughter was allowed to opt out of the writing assessment Tennessee students take. It is not factored into her grades.

However, Shelby County Schools said she must take the TCAP because the results are 25 percent of her grade.

SCS referred WREG’s questions about its policy to the state.

A spokesperson with the TN Department of Education said, “There is no provision in federal or state law authorizing a student to opt out of these mandated assessments.”

However, Proseus says some students in Nashville are allowed to opt out of TCAP.

There’s even a Facebook group of parents from all over the country speaking out against these type of standardized tests.

Proseus is one of them. She says the students forced to take these kinds of tests are getting younger and younger.

“Shelby County Schools started testing kindergarten and first grade last year as well. It’s sad. Making those babies sit for hours and hours taking a bubble test,” said Proseus.

Proseus is conferring with a lawyer about her right to opt out.

Meanwhile, she will take the tests this year like the thousands of other Shelby County School students starting Tuesday.

17 comments

  • B-12

    Personally I as a Parent with a child that has TEST ANXIETY side with this parent. It is ridiculous that teachers are graded on the kids grades average of a TCAP. THE TCAP NEEDS TO GO LONG DOWN THE ROAD anyhow. The ONLY test that should be taken is the ACT test in high school period. Teachers should NOT have to be given pay raises off a kids test score.
    Besides the way Memphis is going, it is almost the kids teaching the teachers anymore. They have gotten RID OF ALL THE GREAT and GOOD TEACHERS anyway. But I fully agree with this lady. TCAP is NOT a must test and should be dropped in all states.

    • MissTee

      Theyve run the good teachers off, and made people believe that experience, education, and training is a BAD thing. I feel sorry for anyone who believes these tests are useful.

  • Bookworm23

    As a teacher, it has been alarming to see what the increased focus on testing has done to school culture. The tests essentially drive everything we do, stress students without benefitting them in the least, and rob children and teachers of the joy of learning. One especially heart-breaking consequence of this data obsession is the loss of personal connections between teachers send students. I feel strongly that a parents have every right to opt their children out of tests, and that doing so may very well be the only thing that will finally put an end to this nightmare.

    • MissTee

      Yep. I am considering other job options. Its too bad, since the actual TEACHING part of teaching is the only thing I want to do.

  • Chris Williams ii

    You can’t opt out of a state government mandated test. That’s like saying u want to opt out of paying taxes. Not gonna happen

    • MissTee

      Are you really this stupid?

      Tell ya what,since you dont believe in reality, why dont we base your tax rate on your kid’s test score? The higher the score, the lower your rate. The lower the score, the higher your rate. Makes perfect sense. Dont have kids? Well, youll just have to take a rate based on the composite score of the school in your area.

    • concerned citizen

      Child psychologists agree with what Stacie Tawbush is saying. Increasingly, clinical psychologists are speaking out about Common Core’s inappropriate standards and pressure, especially on the lower grades.

      Here in Utah, Joan Landes and Gary Thompson have spoken out. Dr. Thompson calls Common Core and its testing program “cognitive child abuse.”

      Just so your aware that you do NOT know what you are stating here, Do your research before posting comments that you have no educated opinion on Sir.

  • Nancy Bailey

    Tests today are high-stakes and intentionally designed to destroy public schools and the teaching profession. That’s why you see such serious issues concerning cheating across the country.

    Parents realize the high anxiety testing pressure is not about helping their children learn. The tests we have today are much different from tests in the past. There is too much emphasis on testing and not enough attention to real instruction and understanding.

    Testing should be very personal and a private issue between the parent, teacher, some school staff possibly and the child.

    Thank you to this parent and WREG for addressing this serious and very relevant issue.

  • Deanna

    I have children who make excellent grades. Those who think test anxiety because of numerous testing and constant test prep is not real must not have any clue what is going on in schools today. It’s real. Test companies make huge profits off of this junk. And they successfully achieve test anxiety. I refused 4 tests for my child this year alone. She will take TCAP. But the number of tests do nothing down the road. ACT test prep is what helps ACT scores. Not all this testing year after year in early childhood. And who thinks a K-2 child needs all this standardized testing?! Guess what, they are doing it.

  • Doug Hesson

    If a teacher is teaching the subject material,then said teacher should not have to worry about “teaching the test” in order for their students to pass.

    • Gail

      I agree the teacher shouldn’t have to worry if they are teaching the material. But the fact is their job and their evaluations depend on teaching the test objectives in the same manner that they are presented on the test. This takes the creativity and joy out of teaching. It also provides a stressful atmosphere for the teacher and the student.

  • ChrisWilliamsJrisTheLoadthatshould'vebeenswallowed

    Y’all voted all these nigs into various positions and you get what you voted for. A bunch of s–t. Miss Tee some people can’t help they live in a nig neighborhood. The kids can’t help they have idiot parents.

    • concerned citizen

      Just for the record, Common Core has nothing to do with who was voted into office. States received federal Money for applying for a grant called “Race to the Top” . Under the stipulation that Common Core would be implemented. This was before it was ever even written to begin with. Second it was written behind closed doors. So no people in this city did not get a chance to say what they wanted. Please inform yourself on the subject!!!

  • Debbie

    For those that think parents who refuse standardized tests are just coddling their children, please read this: http://m.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/apr/27/how-to-score-a-0-on-the-tcap/.
    The mom in this article hit the nail right on the head when she said she’s not opposed to her child taking a test, it’s just these kinds of tests are now being used as weapons against the students and teachers. I for one believe that teachers should be the ones making the tests. I don’t have any problems with my children taking a midterm or final that was made BY THEIR TEACHER. I have confidence in THEM, not some “testing” company that’s just in it to make a huge amount of money off of our children.

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