Jeff Solochek, from the Tampa Tribune, has done an excellent job of Keeping Parents Aware of the Ever Changing 2015 Florida Third Grade Retention Policy.
The April 29th update seemed to indicate that Florida Third Grade Retention Policies would be decided by the schools — this new version makes far more sense — indicating that each district will now be required to develop their own policy.
Once again the Florida Department of Education has clarified what House Bill 7069 meant for Florida Third Grade Retention in 2015 – now saying they will provide districts with a list of those scoring in the bottom 20%, or quintile, as the law indicates, and the districts will decide who gets promoted and who does not — per Florida Statute 1008.25 – an understandable version of the Good Cause Exemptions is provided at the Florida Department of Education Read to Learn page. At the bottom of this page are the relevant portions of the article from the Tampa Tribune.
What Does This Mean for Florida Third Grade Retention in 2015 and 2016
In 2015, this means sometime in early June the districts will be provided a list of those students who scored in the lowest 20 percent and the districts will have to decide how to handle the situation.
For 2016, this law will not apply, and the State of Florida will probably go back to holding students back who both:
– Get a Level 1 on the Third Grade Reading FSA or Opt-out and
– Do not meet one of the good cause exemptions as outlined in the Read to Learn page.
If I were a parent, I would contact my child’s school, I would check my child’s school on how my child is doing and what are my options. If your child is at risk for 3rd grade retention, you want to request either an update on where your child is at, and if they have not already started a portfolio, ask them to do so immediately. The portfolio is by far the easiest and surest way to have a child promoted
Click here for more information on our Success by Third Grade Camapign
The Florida Department of Education issued its notes from an April 29 conference call, in which it aimed to explain the current state of affairs to superintendents. Here’s what it said:
Regarding third grade English Language Arts, it is clearly stated in the bill that we will determine the students who are in the bottom quintile to produce a list of students statewide who are at risk of retention. We will provide to each district their students that are in the statewide bottom quintile. The list will then be disaggregated by districts and provided to each of you as an alphabetical list of your students. You will receive the names of your students only, who are in the bottom quintile of the state. We will not be providing the percentile associated with each student, as that would be inappropriate when we consider that the scores have not been through all validity checks.
The law indicates that the list is to be provided for consideration by the district to then determine whether or not they will retain the student [emphasis added] or use other means as outlined in s. 1008.25(6)(b), F.S., for grade placement in either third or fourth grade and to be considered with other information that the district has for each student to provide supports for success in fourth grade. The statute is clear that for this year of transition the districts will notify parents and provide evidence.