Update: The Tennessee Department of Education granted a waiver requested by the Knox County Schools, so the grades issued on students' end of the year report cards will be the final one.
Sumner County Board of Education members tonight unanimously approved a request by Director of Schools Del Phillips to set aside a policy requiring TCAP scores for students in grades 3-8 to be factored in their final spring grades for the current school year.
Phillips said he would ask for a waiver allowing him to omit TCAP results from students' final grade calculations after the State Department of Education notified school leaders that results from TCAP tests — taken in grades 3-8 — would be delayed by at least 10 more days for review.
School ends Wednesday in Sumner County.
Because sweeping education reform passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2010 now requires districts to adopt policies weighing TCAP scores as part of students' final grades, the delay would postpone report cards unless school districts request a waiver.
The Sumner County Board of Education's policy requires TCAP scores to count for 15 percent of students' grades in grades 3-5 and 20 percent for students in grades 6-8. Sumner high school end-of-course exams make up a quarter of a student's final grade and are not part of the TCAP assessment.
The state's delay will now require districts to move quickly in deciding whether to postpone students' end-of-the-year report cards or else request a waiver allowing them to discard TCAP scores in calculating students' final grades.
"I think most (school districts) are going to ask for a waiver because we're in such a bad situation and predicament with it being delayed," Phillips said.
School board members were scheduled to convene in a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night. Phillips said he would ask members to approve a one-time waiver on the policy, allowing him to petition the state department of education to allow TCAP scores to be omitted from students' final grades.
"Going forward, we're going to try to make sure parents understand this is something that (we just found out) and we're trying to manage it the best we can," Phillips said.
Phillips said he expected report cards for students in grades K-2 and 9-12 to go out as scheduled on Wednesday.