CINCINNATI - The “third-grade guarantee” was approved last summer by Ohio lawmakers. The law requires students to pass a set standard for reading in the state which state board members decided to be a score of 392 out of 400 Tuesday.
“We would hope that every student would come into third grade where they need to be and leave third grade where they need to be, ” teacher Jenny Lafferty said.
She teaches her third grade class at Adena Elementary School in Lakota to be better readers every day.
It may become a bigger challenge to get Lafferty's students to fourth grade as state board members agreed on a new score standard for the Ohio reading test.
“Some students come in at grade level, some below and some above. So just meeting each student where they are and bringing them to where they can be at the end of the year,” Lafferty said.
The new standards aren’t being looked at as a set back for students in Lakota but rather a challenge.
“We’re already looking at students through that lens of those who are not achieving those reading standards. So lowering it to 392 is a necessity especially when we are talking about retaining students," said principal Ericka Simmons.
Adena Elementary School knew the changes were coming from the state this summer and have a plan already in place using assessments and placing its students into tiers.
“Our tier three and tier two students are those that we really hone in on to provide some specific interventions to support them. The earlier you intervene with readers the better they are to have success later on in their journey,” Simmons said.
Ms. Lafferty already sees the third grade as a crucial moment in a child’s education.
“Here in Lakota it’s the first year they get letter grades. They are kind of moving out of primary and in to the intermediate so it is a big transition. A lot more personal responsibility than what they’ve been used to in the primary grades,” Lafferty said.
Ms. Lafferty’s current third grade class can breathe easy. The standards won’t take effect until the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
A score of 400 out of 500 is considered proficient for the state’s reading test standards. Anything below could cause a student to be held back a year. As many as 10,000 third-graders could be affected by the new standards.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Videos of tornadoes ripping through Oklahoma May 19, 2013. At least 21 people were injured as a result of the string of tornado activity.