HB 5111 — Hold back 3rd graders who don’t test proficient in reading
Introduced by Rep. Price; version H-3 reported from House Edu. Cmte.; analysis as of 12/10/2013
Why this deserves your attention:
Helping all children to read, enjoy reading, and read effectively, is one of the central tasks we expect of our public schools. This bill would focus, however, on stigmatizing students, teachers and schools who do not meet an arbitrary deadline for “proficient” reading. Moreover, that “proficiency” measure is based on scores on a state standardized test which has not yet been selected. A companion bill, HB 5144, would identify, but not fund, intervention programs. The Governor’s FY2015 budget proposal makes some existing funding for “at-risk” students available for reading programs, but includes no new funds for this.
What the bill would do
Starting with students entering first grade in the 2014-15 school year, a student could not enroll in fourth grade unless they had received a score of "proficient" on the third grade state reading assessment (the state standardized test required under current Federal law). A student could not be retained for more than two years.
Students entering a school at grade four would have to have received a "proficient" score in order to enroll in grade four.
A district superintendent or charter chief administrator would be able to issue a "good cause exemption" under the following circumstances:
Requests for an exemption can be made by the parents or the student's third grade teacher. In addition, if the parents and teacher agree, the student can re-take the state exam. Students advanced to fourth grade under an exemption must be provided with intensive reading instruction. As many as 34%, or 37,750, students could be affected.
Getting all children to read is easy, right?
We at MIPFS absolutely believe that we should do all we can to ensure children are able to read - and to understand and evaluate what they read. Steps to catch children who are having trouble should start early. This kind of effort takes smart people and resources for quality programs.