Do you think you could pass the 3rd Grade English Language Arts portion of TCAP? Click the link here to take the practice test.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — According to TCAP data, only 23.6 percent of third graders scored proficient on the English Language Arts test.

In 2022, 16.5 percent of the city’s third-graders were proficient. As a class, MSCS says that compared to last year, third graders showed a 7% growth in proficiency and a 7% reduction in nonproficiency.

Statewide, 60 percent of third-graders scored non-proficient, and 40 percent scored proficient.

“This year’s third graders, they started their tenure with us in their first year which was disrupted by the pandemic,” said MSCS Interim Superintendent Toni Williams. “They are really demonstrating their resilience and showing gains.”

The school district says these are “raw” scores and that they will change based on exemptions, retakes, and other factors.

Memphis students were able to retake the test starting Wednesday and ending Friday. Those who do not pass a second time must enroll in the Summer Learning Academy.

If a parent appeals and it is denied, the child can go to summer learning or proceed to fourth grade and have one year of tutoring.

Preparations for third graders are already set in place for the summer, even if there are over 6,000 students. MSCS says ¼ students participated in their summer program last year.

Beginning June 20 and running through July 19, students can only miss two days of summer school if they want to advance to the fourth grade.

Rozelle Elementary student Damarious Schofield is one of the 24% of Memphis-Shelby County Schools’ third graders to score proficient on the Language Arts portion of the TCAP.

“It felt like I was taking a test that determines the rest of my life,” Schofield said.

Damarious said the results left some of his friends discouraged.

“They were mad at themselves for not being able to pass,” he said.

“It’s a lot of pressure. He actually cried one day,” said his mother Samantha Smith.

Smith said the preparation starts with parents.

“I feel proud. I feel like our hard work paid off,” she said. “We can’t blame the children. We can’t blame the teachers because it all starts at home.”

After scores have been adjusted, MSCS says they can not confirm if those new scores will be released, noting it is up to the state.

Third-grade parents will also not receive report cards on the final day of school, which is Friday.

MSCS says students are “more than test scores” and that they want to provide help rather than “judge them.” Proud to have also passed, Idlewild student Lowe Bates is offering this encouragement.

“You tried your best and you will get it next time,” Bates said.