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News Brief

01/28/14

Mandate on Third-Grade Reading Takes Full Effect This Spring

Broken Arrow Ledger (OK) (01/29/14)

The Reading Sufficiency Act, under which students who score unsatisfactory in reading assessments cannot be promoted to fourth grade, takes effect this school year, and Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Janet Barresi says parents must be prepared. The law aims to reduce the state's nearly 30 percent illiteracy rate. "We do no favors for students who are passed on to the next grade without having the most fundamental ability to read. The ability to read is a gateway to success in academics and in life. Reading isn't just a subject, but the foundation of all learning," she explains. "It is a tragedy when a child in our public schools cannot read. In tomorrow's world, the inability to read is a sentence to a lower quality of life. That won't happen on my watch. Oklahoma has great teachers who will help make this law succeed." Schools are required to use benchmark assessments at the beginning of each school year for students in grades K-3 to identify those at risk of retention for reading, and they must implement individualized reading plans for at-risk students, with parents notified in writing about the intervention.
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