“For one child to be retained is too many for us,” said Jamie Lusher, the language-arts coordinator for Worthington schools in the Monday 10/22 Columbus Dispatch article on Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
In Worthington Worthington.Third%2520Grade%2520Guarantee%2520powerpointwe are doing three things to make certain our students have the skills they need to advance and succeed.
- Worthington is taking seriously the law’s requirement that we offer additional reading support to K-3 students who are identified as reading below grade level. High-quality, student-centered, intensive intervention—especially for first and second graders—should help more students read on grade level by the end of third grade and prevent mandatory retentions.
- Worthington will make prudent use of the law’s good-cause exceptions to advance students to fourth grade. Certain limited-English-proficient students and students with disabilities will be allowed to advance regardless of their performance on the state test, as will students who were previously held back in K-3. More importantly, the law allows the district to prove, with an assessment other than the state test, that a student is ready for fourth grade. This provision retains some power for local educators to have a say in determining which of their students are ready to move on, and which aren’t.
- Worthington is committed to engaging parents early in the reading-intervention process, well before third grade. Doing so will encourage parents to be partners in their children’s reading development—potentially lessening the need for future intervention—and would prevent parents from being surprised come third grade that their child can’t read and is being held back.
Jamie stated our feelings very succinctly. Even one retention at third grade because a student cannot read will be one too many for us in Worthington. We’re committed to early intervention for students and we’re committed to building a rock solid foundation of reading education that will allow future material to build upon.
For us to be successful we’ll need to partner with our parents and our community. We need more Project More volunteers to tutor students in reading at every school. We need parents to commit to reading with their children each and every night. We need to public library to continue to work in concert with the schools (they are) and help students access RAZ kids at the library and help parents check out materials at the appropriate lexile range. Together we can!
“For one child to be retained is too many for us!”