By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A brochure received by parents in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Union District, on retaining 3rd graders based on standardized test reading scores is titled, “Will your child pass third grade?”

The State explains the pending reading requirement to begin in the 2013- 2014 school year, what it’s doing to help students read and move on to fourth grade, and provides tips for parents.

Other states are looking to Florida’s ten year old mandate where students who score at the lowest of five levels on state tests must be retained. However, there are exemptions: for those who have been held back for two years, special education students and English language learners.

Approved alternative exams and teacher-developed portfolios showing student mastery of state standards may be considered “good cause” exemptions also. Discussion of how long students retain reading gains, a greater likelihood of dropping out, smaller class size and earlier intervention are reported as well.

Register and read Erik Robelen’s article in Education Week.

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