(NASHVILLE) – State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) filed Senate Resolution 33 today commending Shelby County Schools on its adoption of a new promotion policy to ensure that its students are performing at grade level and are prepared for the next grade. In an effort to boost literacy rates among young students, Shelby County Schools has proposed a new policy to no longer promote those second-graders to third grade who are not ready.

“I commend Shelby County Schools for adopting a new policy to ensure students are equipped with the literacy skills necessary to move on to the next grade,” said Senator Kelsey. “By the time a child reaches third grade, he or she should be able to read to learn new information. If a student is promoted to third grade who cannot keep up with the curriculum, it can be frustrating and discouraging for the student, leading to further academic struggles in the future. In order for our students in Shelby County to be set up for academic success, it is critical they are able to meet the minimum literacy standards in third grade.”

The new policy will be fully implemented in the 2020-2021 school year. It will require second-grade students to meet eight out of twelve benchmark points. Students who fail to meet that goal will be required to attend summer school, where they would have the opportunity to meet the literacy benchmark in time to start third grade in the fall or will repeat second grade.

“It is unacceptable that over half of students graduating from Shelby County Schools are unprepared and require remediation courses when they start college. This new policy is one way we can ensure students are academically prepared throughout their education career by ensuring they have a solid foundation, rather than prematurely progressing students to the next grade. I fully support this new policy and will continue to work to improve student success in my district and across Tennessee.” added Kelsey.