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Helping Our 3rd Graders
Posted By Christopher Hill On June 19, 2014 @ 2:21 pm In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled
There is no doubt that ensuring that 3rd graders read at grade level or above is a great goal. The recently revised Read to Achieve  section of the Excellent Public Schools Act is North Carolina’s way to carry out that goal. Very much like other education policies that North Carolina has adopted (vouchers, repealing Common Core), Read to Achieve started in other states.
The most damaging part of Read to Achieve is the retention policy, particularly retention based on the results of high-stakes testing. If a 3rd grade student cannot show proficiency in reading, s/he will be left back. There are reams of paper of research that show how detrimental retention is for students. The website for Mecklenburg ACTS , a pro-public education organization contains a lot of information about Read to Achieve  as well as the problems with high-stakes testing .
There are things that can be done to make Read to Achieve less punitive.
Our youngest children should not fear school because of constant testing. When education is enjoyable, students will achieve. If students are struggling, we need to use all interventions at our disposal. That means having resources like textbooks and teaching assistants. Test anxiety will not bring reading achievement.
Students do not achieve because of copycat laws that punish students. We need to copy things that have already been successful like professionalizing and respecting teachers and treat learning as a lifelong goal not information to pass a high stakes test. Most importantly, students will have better chances at achievement when we not only provide not only reading interventions but intervene to provide adequate healthcare, safe and affordable housing and access to healthy food.
Article printed from The Progressive Pulse: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org
URL to article: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/06/19/helping-our-3rd-graders/
URLs in this post:
 The recently revised Read to Achieve: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2013&BillID=H230
 Mecklenburg ACTS: http://www.mecklenburgacts.org/
 Read to Achieve: http://www.mecklenburgacts.org/read-to-achieve/
 high-stakes testing: http://www.mecklenburgacts.org/testing/
 Oklahoma repealed the retention section of its law: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-legislature-overrides-gov.-fallins-veto-of-third-grade-reading-bill/article/4845047
 Duke study: http://research.sanford.duke.edu/papers/SAN12-01.pdf
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