With the start of a new school year some third graders in Northeast Ohio are being held back because of state reading requirements. So now the push is on to make sure these students are on track before the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
With the start of a new school year, some third graders in Northeast Ohio are being held back because of state reading requirements.
Now, the push is on to make sure these students are on track before the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
Students had to reach a certain score on the state assessment as part of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
Lorain City Schools Superintendent Thomas Tucker says he believes in the premise of the guarantee: That students need to learn how to read.
"But the one problem with the law is it says by this time you will be reading at this point and we all know students don't necessarily learn at a particular rate," he says. "You're talking third graders, you're talking young children and to have some of them be told they didn't make the mark because of three or four questions on a test turns to tears and there's a lot of research on what happens when you retain students and none of it is very good."
Of the 469 third graders in Lorain City Schools, 33 are being held back. Tucker says intensive reading programs are set up for the students and they will be assigned a reading specialist teacher and have a reading improvement plan. The goal is to promote these students mid-year.
According to the Ohio Department of Education's website, "studies on Florida's version of the Third Grade Guarantee show that students who remained in the third grade and received intensive reading instruction, improved dramatically in overall school performance in the years following."
The Cleveland Public Library system is offering free tutoring for all students who are in kindergarten, first, second and third grades.
Sessions are from 4-6 p.m. on school days at the Addison, Garden Valley, Walz and Woodland branches.
"I don't want to focus on the test, I want to focus on making sure they have the foundation skills," explains Braxton Educational and Technology Consulting Owner, Shawn Braxton. "We want to make sure they have the requisite skills no matter what the assessment is."
There are some exceptions to the new testing standards. Those include students who use English as a second language, students with learning disabilities and those who have been held back before and have received extensive intervention.