Claremore Daily Progress

Education

May 10, 2014

Nearly 72 percent of Rogers County 3rd graders score proficient

CLAREMORE —

Of approximately 944 Rogers County third-graders within nine school districts, 75 percent scored at least proficient on the state standardized reading test, and nearly 90 percent of the students will move on to fourth grade, according to district results provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
County districts include: Claremore, Verdigris, Inola, Oologah-Talala, Sequoyah, Chelsea, Foyil, Catoosa and Justus-Tiawah.
Scores are broken down into four categories — advanced, proficient, limited knowledge and unsatisfactory. Out of the 944 Rogers County third-graders, about five percent scored advanced, 75 percent scored proficient, 11 percent scored limited knowledge and about 10 percent scored unsatisfactory.
Students who scored unsatisfactory are at risk of being held back next year. Those students will have additional opportunities to qualify for exemptions by demonstrating basic reading skills through a student portfolio or by an alternative reading assessment provided for under the state’s Reading Sufficiency Act, the department announced Friday.
This is the first year for the new provision to go into effect statewide.
After three weeks, House Bill 2625 — which would allow a committee of the student’s parents, teachers and school staff to determine if “probationary promotion” to fourth grade is an option — is awaiting House consideration of amendments. The amendments include a provision that committees will only be utilized for the next two school years.
Of the 48,691 Oklahoma third grade students, nearly 16 percent of scored unsatisfactory on state reading tests and could be held back next year, although that number is expected to go down, state officials said. 
The percentage of unsatisfactory third-graders in the state’s two largest districts, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, were nearly twice the state average — 32.7 in Tulsa and 28.9 percent in Oklahoma City.
“The governor’s belief is that it’s immoral to send a child, a third-grader that cannot read at grade appropriate level onto fourth grade because you’re setting them up for failure. It’s especially important to remember that the tests they’re taking actually tests to see if they’re reading at a first-grade level,” Gov. Mary Fallin’s spokesman Alex Weintz said Friday. 
“It’s very difficult to imagine a fourth-grader who can’t read at a first-grade level succeeding. So our goal now that we’ve identified those students who are falling behind is to get them up to where they need to be as quickly as possible.”
For a list of district’s third-grade reading scores statewide, visit ok.gov/sde.

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