MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Parents are outraged and students are stressed in Covington.
As families in Covington are trying to get back on their feet after the EF-3 tornado swept through Tipton County, they were hit with more bad news.
Crestview Elementary and Middle students in grades 3-8 are required to take the TCAP testing.
“When they heard they still had to take the exam, they said ‘mama, what are we supposed to do’,” said Jordan Ballard Watkins, mother of three.
Pieces of Crestview Elementary and Middle Schools are still scattered on the school grounds.
Starting Tuesday, Crestview Elementary will be taking the TCAP exams at Charger Academy.
While middle school students will test at Covington High School.
“They expect so much from these children in a little amount of time and these teachers in a short amount of time. They don’t have time to retain all of these information and you expect them to test at a school that’s not their home school. It’s heartbreaking,” said Watkins.
These are high stake tests for third graders. They’ll be held back unless they pass the TNReady reading exams.
“After not being in school for 3 weeks, it just makes me angry. My children are not happy about it and begged me to not let them take this test,” said Watkins.
And Watkins’ isn’t the only one frustrated and outraged with the decision. Several parents reached out to Gov. Bill Lee asking to waive the TCAP testing but it was denied.
“Why are we being required to take this test? Mental health is so important right now and our kids are working through this trauma,” said Chelsea Griffin, mother.
The Governor's office responded that it did waive some requirements in Covington. TCAP scores won't count towards students' grades in the city. Also, those scores won't be used in teacher evaluations. Parents of third graders can also appeal their scores because they're used to determine whether students can advance to fourth grade.
“It’s wrong and it’s not right. Gov. Bill Lee should be ashamed. I don’t know how he sleeps at night to be honest,” Watkins.