Oklahoma bills to limit third-grade retention pass committee and head to full House

Parents of students who fail a third-grade reading test would be given additional options to having their children held back under two bills approved Monday by the state House Education Committee.
Oklahoman Published: February 25, 2014
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Parents of Oklahoma students who fail a third-grade reading test would be given alternatives to having their children held back under two bills approved Monday by the state House Common Education Committee.

An upcoming third-grade reading test has created a public furor because of concerns that hundreds of students will be held back for reading below grade level. Oklahoma City school district officials have indicated nearly one in four of their third-graders are reading below grade level and are in danger of being held back.

Reading flexibility

House Bill 2625 promoted by state Reps. Katie Henke, R-Tulsa, and Dennis Casey, R-Morrison, would prohibit a student from being retained based solely on their performance on one test, Casey said.

Under the bill, if a student fails the third-grade reading test, a team made up of a parent or guardian, a teacher, the school’s principal and a certified reading specialist, if the school has one, would meet to decide if retention was in the best interest of the student.

Intensive reading instruction and support would be made available both to students who are retained and those who are promoted to the next grade.

“Additional flexibility is needed,” Casey said. “Children aren’t all the same.”


by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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