Ohio’s new law, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, has impacted school districts all across the state.
The legislation says that school districts are to use a diagnostic assessment for students in kindergarten through third grade, to determine whether or not an intervention is necessary for them to pass the third grade reading test. Students who are unable to pass are to be held back.
In our area, Zanesville City Schools will monitor the progress of all students to see that they are on target to pass.
"When I looked at last years third grade testing, we would have had about 13% who would not have passed the states requirement." said Linda Phillips, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. "Now one thing that the state has said, is there will be an alternate assessment that can be given, but they’ve not defined what that is."
Phillips says that 13% is too high of a number, and the district is working with students and parents to develop a plan for intervention.
"You have to remember, these are eight and nine year olds, so if we think a student does have the ability, and maybe they just didn’t do their best on that day, or weren’t feeling well, there is another assessment we can use, the state just hasn’t defined what that is yet." she explained.
Students who are held back will be able to move forward in other subjects such as math or science, they just won’t be able to move forward to fourth grade reading. Students with learning disabilites or individualized education programs may be excluded from this legislation.