Lookout Valley dad removing his child from TCAP testing - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lookout Valley dad removing his child from TCAP testing

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -  It's standard at schools all across the county, but there's also a growing trend of parents opting their children out of testing.

One father says the school didn't give him any other option, either his child would take the TCAP Achievement test or he will have to remove his child from school for the rest of the week.

"As I dropped my kid off this morning, I told him, "Now they know you're not supposed to be doing TCAP, if they try to force you, you call me," said Dan Baker of Lookout Valley, "Well I got the call."

Dan Baker sent the Lookout Valley Elementary School's principal a letter on Monday, saying his child would not be taking the TCAP tests.

"The security of the information, the effectiveness of the information and the amount of pressure that's put on the kids and the teachers is insane and I'm not going to support it," Baker said.

Baker made the decision a few years ago when he noticed his oldest child becoming anxious and irritable right around the time of testing.

"During the week of TCAP, when he was supposed to be performing well on these tests," Baker said, "He couldn't sleep, he was up all night sick, throwing up, irritable, nauseous, just upset the whole week."
    
Baker removed his two children from TCAP testing last year and says the school had no problems.
    
But this year, that's not the case.

"It was made very clear to me that he is not welcome on the premises while they're testing if I'm refusing, so I'll just be keeping my child at home."
    
The State Department of Education sent Baker a letter saying in part, "parents may not opt out of state mandated content or instructional programs, including assessments." and "schools should not offer alternative activities on testing days."

Baker is one of two parents in Hamilton County who have removed their child from testing this week.

Baker says it's a growing trend nation wide and next year he expects more.

"I hope that enough parents become aware of what is happening to their child in the classroom," Baker said.

The Hamilton County Department of Education Director of Accountability and Testing says all the public schools in the county are following the state guidelines.

If a student does not take TCAP then he or she will get a zero for each test, and that could result in a 15% reduction of that student's second semester grade in those subjects.


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