TDOE Promotes 2023 Spring TCAP to Support Students & Families
Annual Testing Results Drive Strategic Decision-Making; How to Prepare
Students for Success
NASHVILLE, TN – This month, the Tennessee Department of Education is promoting the annual Tennessee Comprehensive Assessments Program (TCAP), which is being administered to students in grades 3-8 from April 17 – May 5, to ensure students can show what they know and families have resources on how best to support and prepare their students for test day.
Students in schools across the state will take state summative assessments in general education subject areas—including English language arts (ELA), math, science, and social studies— to collect valuable data to inform strategic decision-making on how to best support Tennessee students.
“The TCAP assessment is an essential measure to give parents and educators a big-picture perspective about how their student is progressing, including a closer look at each student’s strengths and growth opportunities,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Parents are a child’s first teacher, and the data gained from this test empowers all those in a student’s life to learn how to set them up for success."
Annual TCAP assessments are an important part of Tennessee’s public education system and are intended to inform a wide variety of conversations about how well Tennessee is preparing students now and into the future. These assessments serve multiple purposes for parents and families, educators, and elected officials in the state, including:
- Provides feedback about students’ academic progress and how it aligns with what students are expected to know at the end of each grade
- Gives families and teachers a high-level perspective about how a student is progressing compared to peers across the district and state, including a student’s strengths and growth opportunities
- Builds confidence and transparency about students’ readiness for postsecondary opportunities and the workforce among Tennessee colleges, universities, and employers
- Helps educators strengthen classroom instruction and activities
- Highlights exemplar districts and schools to learn from across the state
Over the past two years, Tennessee has released hundreds of free and optional assessment resources to support educators in helping prepare students for testing with a statewide formative platform, Schoolnet. The 2023 release of TCAP items is now available on Schoolnet for multiple subject areas and includes a total of 287 previously operational assessment items.
Developing students’ confidence for test-taking will not only help them feel comfortable with state-, district-, and classroom-assessments, it will also prepare them for success in their postsecondary education and future careers. Test-taking preparation for students and families can involve developing healthy sleep, eating, and exercise habits ahead of testing.
Starting in the 2022-23 school year, if a 3rd grade student scores “below” or “approaching” proficiency on the ELA section of the TCAP this spring, the student is eligible to receive important learning supports from their school for free to ensure they are ready to move on to the 4th grade, including summer learning camps and high-dosage, low-ratio tutoring.
Additionally, schools track the progress of 3rd grade students’ reading comprehension based off their performance on universal reading screeners, which are administered three times a year. The department also provides a variety of at-home resources for parents to support their child’s reading development, including Decodables and more on Best for All Central. Click here for additional learning acceleration resources.
“Tennessee’s public schoolteachers work incredibly hard all school year to prepare students for success on the TCAP,” said a Tennessee Parent. “Parents can do our part by encouraging our children to try their best and making sure they are well-rested. Together, we can showcase the achievements of our students, teachers, and schools as well as learn about areas where we can help our children develop additional skills.”
“United Ways of Tennessee wants to send a thank you shout-out to our state’s teachers and parents who are working so hard to prepare students for academic success,” said Mary Graham, President & CEO, United Ways of Tennessee. “Whether its catching kids up on early literacy skills, helping them prep for testing, or just ensuring they are participating and engaged, you are heroes!”
“Teachers across our great state have worked hard all year to ensure their students have mastered rigorous state standards,” said Tyler Salyer, Principal, West Collierville Middle School. “As students begin state testing, this is a great time to let your child know how proud you are of how much they’ve grown this school year!”
TCAP has been the state’s testing program since 1988, and it includes assessments in math, English language arts, social studies, and science, as well as alternative assessments, like MSAA and TCAP-Alt, for students with special needs. Tennessee students participate in TCAP testing once a year in grades 3-8 and at the end of certain classes in high school. TCAP assessments are meant to measure how well students have gained the knowledge and skills expected for their subject and grade level, which are based on the Tennessee state academic standards.
For more information on the state’s assessments, click here.
To learn more about learning acceleration pathways and resources, click here. For additional at-home reading resources, the TCAP Family Portal score reports, and sample test questions, visit Best for All Central’s Featured Family Resources.
For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact Edu.MediaInquiries@tn.gov.