A Student Portfolio Can Be Used to Beat Third Grade Retention in Florida
Third grade retention in Florida can be avoided, even if your child failed the third grade FSA or your child opted out of the third grade reading FSA, but a student must meet one of the good cause exemptions.
Florida Statute 1008.25 (Point 5(c)7), clearly says that
“A parent of a student in grade 3 who is identified anytime during the year as being at risk of retention may request that the school immediately begin collecting evidence for a portfolio.”
Jeff Solochek’s blog from the Tampa Bay Tribune, recently had an article titled
It shared the experience of some parents who were told that a child must be held back if they do not get a Level 2 on the Third Grade Reading Standardized Test (i.e. the Third Grade Reading FSA).
That is false. In one of Florida’s better moves, they created a series of Good Cause Exemptions from 3rd Grade Retention that include:
- Passing a student portfolio that demonstrates a student has mastered the relevant skills
- Passing a test that is typically given the last week of school
- Passing a test that is given at the end of summer school
- Passing a test in September
- Not allowing a student with an IEP or Individualized Education Plan to be held back twice before 4th grade
- Now, a student can only be held back once in 3rd grade
Comments allegedly made by school personnel that a student portfolio cannot be started unless a test has been failed is false. For any student, including a student who opted out of the test, a student portfolio can be started at any time after the student has been identified at risk for third grade retention. We call this a Florida Student Portfolio.
I have spent considerable time on this subject, and agree with Commissioner Stewart, that the state has provided alternative pathways to promotion – page 4 of this document.
What we have found over the years is that students at risk for third grade retention are often somewhere between 1.5 and 3 years below grade level — meaning some are reading below the first grade level and even the best are comprehending at the early 2nd grade level.
Note, the test and the good cause exemptions focus on reading comprehension and not reading fluency — that is, how well a student understand what he or she reads and not how well they read out loud — which is not necessarily a good measure of comprehension.
For more information on how 3D Learner helps students achieve Success by Third Grade and avoid Third Grade Retention visit our Success by Third Grade Page.