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May 3, 2013

TCAP test given to Knoxville fetuses for first time

Fetuses and embryos who will one day be registered in Knoxville area schools were administered the TCAP standardized test designed by the state for the first time this year.

Children who have yet to be born are not required by the state to take the exams, but some school systems, including Knox County, chose to give the test in 2013. The four days of extensive testing ended today.

"I truly think that testing our future students who are now in the embryonic stage will come to help them succeed over the long haul," said Lauryl Mackin, Knox County Schools Director of Fill in the Bubble Completely. "Nothing helps a fetus develop into a mature student like a good old fashioned standardized test."

The school system has in previous years administered other achievement tests to fetuses, including the Brigance achievement test and the Cracker Barrel IQ Test. But school officials say they were not satisfied with the results they were getting.

"We weren't entirely happy with what we were getting from our future students with those tests," said Derek Harbin, Knox County Schools Director of Make Your Mark Heavy and Dark. "Too many of our prenatal students were coming back as plain eg-no-ra-mooses. That's only going to hurt our test scores once those students have been born."

Harbin said the TCAP testing will provide an adequate curriculum for embryos and will give them the support they need for future test-taking.

"The purpose of education is to take and pass tests," said Ed McKenzie, Knox County Schools Director of Stay Inside the Circle. "We have to get our kids passing tests as early as possible. If we have to do that before they are technically even kids then so be it."

McKenzie said he is cautiously optimistic about the performance of the school system's future students this week.

"I've got my fingers crossed," he said. "I'm just a little worried about the math. Fetuses are notoriously bad at math. And also at filling in Scantron bubbles. Their tiny fingers just can't quite grasp a No. 2 pencil yet."

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