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Oklahoma City school district to promote 514 third-graders who failed state reading test

More than 600 Oklahoma City Public Schools students will be retained unless they can pass an alternative exam in August.
by Tim Willert Published: July 1, 2014

Oklahoma City Public Schools will promote 514 third-graders who failed a state reading test but qualified for several good-cause exemptions, including 139 students recommended for promotion by a team of parents and educators.

Conversely, the district will retain 636 third-graders who failed a state reading test and have yet to qualify for one of seven exemptions, district officials announced during Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

Those students still can be promoted to the fourth grade if they pass an alternative assessment offered by the district July 25.

About 1,200 third-graders have been invited to attend a two-week reading academy beginning July 14 to help prepare them for the test.

Students who fail the assessment can retest again on Aug. 8, Sept. 12 and Oct. 14 and will be promoted immediately if they pass, officials said. The 2014-2015 school year begins Aug. 4.

“I’m disappointed because I don’t want any child retained because of lack of reading skills,” said Pat Watson-Hunt, the district’s executive director of elementary schools.

A second chance

In May, Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a bill allowing a student who fails the test to still be promoted if a team of parents and educators unanimously approve.

The Oklahoma Legislature, however, overturned the veto, giving thousands of third-graders statewide a second chance at promotion.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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