Success by Third Grade Should Be The Focus
Success by Third Grade should be the focus of policy makers, but in this world …
Third grade retention laws are an integral part of the Conservative Agenda. Mississippi joined 15 other states in implementing a third grade retention law. Florida was the first state to implement this third grade retention policy.
How are we doing — 89% of the student with learning disabilities, most of them with dyslexia were below grade level in 2014, and that percent is likely to rise to 95% in 2015. The percent who will score low enough to bring 3rd grade retention into play is likely to rise to 75 to 80%.
In our world, there would have been two campaigns:
– The Success by third grade campaign focused on early identification and effective remediation with a massive effort and
– A specialized intervention program to help those still struggling in 3rd grade
There are many reasons this is not happening, but the biggest challenge by far is what happens to the Privatization Effort, or what we call the Privatization Express, if a far larger number of kids succeed.
Let’s count the ways this changes the game:
– Very few schools would be failing, so the voucher programs that rely on failing schools would have far fewer students eligible for the program
– Those that were eligible would not pursue the vouchers, unless they had a better option
– Students with disabilities who are now taking the McKay Scholarship would be less likely to use the option
– Charter School demand would diminish, since more parents would be happy
The day when Success by Third Grade prevails may not happen soon, but we hope it will happen sooner rather than later