Florida Third Grade Retention was Avoided — But Fourth Grade was a Nightmare
In 2014, 19% of Florida 3rd Graders scored a Level 1 on the 3rd Grade FCAT. Since the cut scores that determine who is a Level 1, the Florida legislature has decided to introduce and new and difficult to understand process, whereby, 20%, or the lower quintile, of the students will be on a list provided to districts in early June. Then school districts will decide on what their promotion requirements will be and who will be retained. Jeff Solochek from the Tampa Tribune has written the best description of the 2015 Third Grade Retention Policy
The policy is that in early June, Districts will get a list of those students scoring in the bottom 20%. By that time each district is to have developed a Third Grade Retention Policy — which might allow some of these students to be promoted to 4th grade.
The legislature has already made it clear that 3rd grade retention will revert back to the old policy in 2016 — where all students scoring a Level 1 on the 3rd Grade Reading FSA (Florida Standards Assessment) will be subjected to 3rd grade retention, unless they meet one of the good cause exemptions.
The risk this year with barely passing 3rd grade and avoiding third grade retention is that 4th grade is now much harder than it ever was. We have tested 4th graders who barely passed the 2014 3rd Grade Reading FCAT and some have been 2.5. 3 and even 3.5 years below grade level in their reading comprehension.
The result was significant stress and anxiety in 4th grade, which is the year a student theoretically goes from learning to read to reading to learn.
In addition to struggling in language arts, these students struggled in math, social studies and science — where the curriculum now requires a far higher level of reading comprehension.
To make matter worse, the student who is behind in reading comprehension is now struggling even more in middle and high school, where the work is much harder and they do not often receive the support that is present in elementary school
To Avoid Third Grade Retention and 4th Grade Anxiety — What Should a Parent Do?
Private schools are positioning themselves as a safe haven, where students can benefit from smaller class sizes and avoid the high stakes testing — this is an option
Having your child repeat 3rd grade is an option — but we only recommend it when the student is younger and has a significant learning problem
We would strongly recommend a proactive approach where you:
– Find out what your child’s present level of reading comprehension is on longer and more difficult passages
– Have your child assessed for how your child learns best and whether your child has an attention, eye-teaming and/or related issues
– Set a BOLD Goal — to get your child to grade level in 4 to 8 months – with a program that:
– Is designed to help children like your child
– Has an excellent record of success
– Helps you to help your child be successful, love reading and to be proud of who she is
At 3D Learner, we offer some no cost tools to put your child on their Pathway to Success by Third Grade
– We would like to give you a copy of our book “Success by 3rd Grade”
– Offer a no cost online assessment
– Offer a no cost strategy session
You can access this all at Success by Third Grade or call us at 561-361-7495