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Third Grade Reading Bill Passes the Senate

Mar 29, 2016

However, the House did not concur with the changes, voting on Thursday to send the measure to conference committee. The major issue of contention remains retention of some third graders. In the original House bill, third graders who do not meet a proficiency mark in a state-required assessment would be held back the next year.

In another significant change, the Senate legislation does not trigger retention as a possibility for every child who fails to meet proficiency cut scores - instead setting the bar at one year or more below grade level in reading for retention to be considered. 

The Senate-passed version of HB 4822 does not mandate retention, instead allowing for several "good cause" exemptions to holding a student back. Parents could initiate an exemption, or the reading teacher or school principal could make that determination, or the child could demonstrate a higher reading level on an approved alternative assessment, among other exemptions. Read More.