Initiate a Portfolio and Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension
The Florida legislature has changed their third grade retention policy. There are five key points about 3rd grade retention:
1- Third grade retention will be in place for the 2015 year — the two options being consider for third grade retention are:
– The bottom 20% may be subjected to 3rd grade retention
– Those scoring below a 182 on the 3rd grade reading FSA may be subjected to third grade retention — this is the same cut-off as in 2014, but this may impact 25 to 30% of the 3rd graders
2- If your child fails the 3rd grade reading FSA, a student portfolio is the best way to be promoted. According to Florida law 1008.25:
7. The district’s specific criteria and policies for a portfolio as provided in subparagraph (6)(b)4. and the evidence required for a student to demonstrate mastery of Florida’s academic standards for English Language Arts. 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.
3- From a Report on Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters from the Annie E. Casey Foundation
“Up to half of the printed fourth-grade curriculum is incomprehensible to students who read below that grade level, according to the Children’s Reading Foundation.
And three-quarters of the students who are poor readers in third grade will remain poor readers in high school, according to researchers at Yale University.”
4- If you are reading this during the summer, the best way to avoid third grade retention is to improve your child’s reading comprehension and to pass the school district’s end of summer test
5- There is a last chance opportunity if your child’s reading comprehension is at grade level in October — they can benefit from what is called mid-year promotion
If your child is a 3rd graders now and is at risk for 3rd grade retention we recommend:
– Speaking with your child’s teacher and if a student portfolio has been started on your child, find out where your child is at and how you can help your child. If a student portfolio has not been started — ask the school to start a portfolio now
– Having your child’s reading comprehension level assessed ASAP — if your child is 1, 2 or 3 years below grade level, take action.
If your child is in 2nd grade, there is a good chance that far more students will be subjected to third grade retention next year and in future years. You want to get a good assessment, and if reading comprehension is an issue, then you want to get help ASAP
Another key point from the Annie E. Casey Foundation Report is that, “Our current approach to testing and standards masks the extent of our nation’s problem with reading proficiency.”
We believe the anti-testing effort has paid dividents — the over testing of our students takes valuable time away from teaching and it shifts the focus from improving reading comprehension and developing a love for reading, and over emphasizes test taking skills. The challenge is the effort has not shifted to improving reading comprehension.
For the committed parent who wants to improve your child’s reading comprehension, love for reading and test scores, the best approach is to seek outside help.
The good news with 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders is that they can often get back to grade level in months and not years.
For more information you can visit Success by 3rd Grade