If Your Child Failed The 3rd Grade High Stakes Test You Have Options


All states have a high-stakes test – the No Child Left Behind Law requires it.

If your child failed your state’s high stakes test, there are often options.

The FCAT is Florida’s high stakes test – it is also called the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Many smart kids fail the 3rd grade FCAT because:

- They set the standards much higher in 3rd grade
- The test is very tricky – many adults get the questions wrong
- The pressure is intense

We like to answer the questions from a personal perspective. If our child had just failed the 3rd grade FCAT or other high-stakes tests:

  1. Would they be retained
  2. Would I send them to private school and which one
  3. Are there other options

The simple answer to the retention question is – Yes, if you do nothing, your child will be retained.

Private school may be an option – and in certain states, like Florida, there are ways the state may help finance private school tuition – Florida has the McKay Scholarship that can be used by Special Education students to fund a portion of their private school tuition.

One major caveat – private schools are not required to provide the same accommodations as public or charter schools must.

Personally, we respect the private school option – and in places like Winter Springs, FL – there may be excellent options like Bridges Academy – where they focus on helping students succeed – and then having them return to public schools.

We are big believers in public schools - -and recommend you consider what you can do to help your child be promoted to 4th grade.

There are often options. These might include:

  1. A portfolio that shows your child has mastered the material
  2. Passing mini-benchmarks that show your child has mastered the material
  3. Passing a standardized test – that may be given over the summer

The three steps you can take are to:

  1. Talk with your child’s teacher and find out where your child stands
  2. Find out about summer school and your other options – schools often offer a second chance to take a standardized test – and summer school may not be required.
  3. Consider private options – which could range from a private school to private tutoring or private programs to help your child succeed.

When considering Tutoring or Programs, you may want to consider:

  1. Do they teach the way your child learns best – too often programs are logical and sequential – when the child is a right-brained learner – who learns best when they see and experience information
  2. Are they focused on passing the test, improving your child’s foundational skills, or both
  3. Do they have a track record of helping kids do extremely well on the test, in school, in life, or in all three areas

Mira Halpert M.Ed. and Mark Halpert offer private options for parents with smart struggling children at their 3D Learner Center in Boca Raton – for more information, visit their Private Options If Your Child Has Failed The 3rd Grade High-Stakes Test page, or call them at 561-361-7495.