Third grade retention likely for students with dyslexia and learning disabilities on Common Core Assessments
I am the founder of the Florida Advocacy Coalition on Learning Differences. We have met with two Florida Commissioners of Education and have yet to get one to focus on improving the performance of students with learning differences, dyslexia and learning disabilities.
This article on how Common Core Standards will impact Dyslexic Students makes one good point
“Although critics may be skeptical of raising standards for students with learning disabilities, according to the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO), research has shown that separating struggling students from the opportunity to learn a standards-based curriculum has had negative effects.”
What the article fails to address is the over 90% of the students with dyslexia or a learning disability will be below grade level on the new test. Even worse, 75 to 80% of the students with dyslexia or a learning disability in 3rd grade will score low enough in Florida to bring Third Grade Retention into play.
The reading level in the Common Core Standards is probably a grade level or more harder than the old standards, the passages on the new Common Core and Common Core like tests (e..g. Florida calls their test the Florida Standards Assessments) are longer, the questions require more critical thinking skills and the test had been expanded from 2 seventy minute sections to 3 eighty sections.
What has never really been addressed is that many third graders were already felling the impact of the Third Grade Retention Policy. Over the last few years, third grade policies have been adopted in 15 states, under the guise of ending social promotion. What is really disturbing is that Florida has not taken any specific steps to help students with dyslexia and learning disabilities
The Florida Advocacy Coalition on Learning Differences has suggested Florida shift the focus to Success by Third Grade (TM), without any success.