What is proficient reading for a third grader?
This has been under consideration in Ohio as the Ohio School Board proposed raising the standard in English Language Arts (including reading) at the third-grade level in order to pass to the fourth grade.
For the current year, the board’s Achievement and Graduation Committee had recommended raising the English Language Arts score required for 2018-19 from 672 to 682.
State law requires that the standard be gradually increased each year until the state proficiency level of 700 is matched as the required cut-off score.
This year, however, the Ohio Department of Education had recommended a smaller increase than the committee recommended, suggesting the required score go from last year’s 672 to 677.
The higher promotion score of 682 was rejected by a vote of 9-7, with the board, instead, voting unanimously (16-0) to adopt the state recommended 677.
In pushing for the higher promotions score, state board member Kara Morgan of Dublin said:
The state has had six years to adjust to the third-grade reading guarantee and has offered significant grant resources to help schools improve.
…it is time for the state to “push forward on the pace” to reach that standard.
Speaking against the higher score, state board member Pat Bruns said:
Schools should get a year to prepare if a bigger change is coming.
Other arguments highlighted the important role of effective interventions to support students as we continue to increase the promotion scores at third grade.
So, how would have we measured up against this newly adopted standard in the past school year?
According to state test data from spring 2017, about 4,500 third-graders scored at least 677 on the test, but not 682. Through approved alternate assessments some of these students would have still been promoted to fourth grade.
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