The Edmond Sun

Local News

January 24, 2014

Parents, third-graders face impacts of reading law

EDMOND — Standardized reading testing has been given in Edmond Public Schools every year since the 2005-06 school term, but now new legislation states third-grade students not on reading level at the end of the year will be retained in that grade.

“This test is the standardized reading test we give every year in April,” said Penny Gooch, Edmond coordinator of educational services and elementary testing.

The law written by Sen. Clark Jolley aims to end the practice known as “social promotion,” keeping students with their peer groups whether they are reading at grade level or not. Jolley, R-Edmond, and other lawmakers have argued that if students cannot read at grade level then they cannot excel academically or in other areas.

The Edmond Public School District has 1,655 third-graders, and it received a $125,154 allocation based on fall student population to help pay for additional literacy educators and programs. Edmond officials said the money allocated is not nearly enough to fully implement the law.

Even though the test is given in April the third grade scores normally are not available until after Labor Day, Edmond’s Associate Superintendent of Educational Services Tara Fair said. “I had to put off my presentation (for 2013) to the School Board until Nov. 1 because all I had were preliminary scores for some of the data.”  

Fair said the State Department of Education, which is in charge of grading the tests, has promised the state’s school districts they will have the reading scores out much earlier this year, which is the first academic year where the social promotion law takes full effect.

“Parents won’t know their child will be retained until we receive the scores,” Fair said. “The law is made and it will be strictly enforced. If the students don’t pass the test or don’t qualify for one of the six exemptions, they will be retained in third grade.”

Fair added the Edmond students and their reading levels are monitored closely and parents already will have been in discussions concerning their child’s reading ability and whether it is on level or not.

The State of Department of Education has a plan including asking the school districts to give the reading tests earlier in the testing period.

“Testing begins April 10 and we are asking schools to get all of their third-grade reading tests done by April 23,” said Tricia Pemberton, assistant communications director with the State Department of Education. “The vendor has told us we will be able to get the scores by May 9 for tests completed by April 23.”

There will be exemptions available for students who score “unsatisfactory” on the test, Pemberton said.

Pemberton added schools already should have put students struggling with reading on an academic monitoring plan.

“Teachers should have been keeping a portfolio for struggling readers, and if the portfolio shows the student can read with at least a limited knowledge level they pass,” Pemberton said. “Limited knowledge shows a second grade reading level but we are also passing them with the hope that they will keep improving.”

Pemberton added schools should have summer reading academies for the students in danger of being retained.

“They can then take the alternative reading test, pass and still be promoted,” Pemberton said. “Students can be promoted mid-year. If they take the reading test by the end of November and pass they can be promoted mid-year.

“Last year about 12 percent of third graders (statewide) would have been retained. So most districts are dealing with a limited number of students.”

Pemberton added the State Department of Education has been placing literacy coaches in districts to help classroom teachers with students who are falling behind.

“If students are struggling in the first grade with reading and are not caught up,” Pemberton said, “their chances of promotion or even graduation go down and the drop out numbers go up.”

There are four grade ratings. In addition to an unsatisfactory rating the other scores are “Limited Knowledge,” “Proficient” and “Advanced” ratings.

“All of our students making less than proficient are put in a system of targeted intervention and support so that we can boost their student academic achievement,” Fair said of Edmond’s policy. “We already have students identified and are working with those students. We do this on a case by case system, which depends on the individual student and what his or her needs are.”

RTI, or Response to Intervention, was implemented in the past and is still ongoing, Gooch said. “Testing in April is the first data from the State Board of Education, but basically all of our students are universally screened in the fall and once we get data back we start working with our students.”

Edmond Public Schools uses a pyramid of three-tiered support to get students who are not on grade level where they need to be.

Tier 1 is teachers begin by helping students in the classroom with interventions helping pinpoint specific needs of individual students.

Tier 2 includes support that actually doubles the time of reading in which they are deficient.  

Tier 3 addresses what is not working and adjusts the educational plan to help the student to read on level.

“Our goal for every student is for them to achieve the Advanced or Proficient level of reading every year in all content areas,” Fair said.

Fair added the district is always working with parents in a partnership in skills and things parents can do at home to help their child read on level.

“We have weekly take-home folders with things parents can be working with their children at home,” Fair said. “In the summer through our Title funds, we send summer packets home and offer opportunities to be in summer school at no cost to parents.”

The district is required by the Reading Sufficiency Act to inform parents as to how their children performed on the fall testing, Fair said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 1,000th baby group.jpg INTEGRIS welcomes 1,000th birth since opening in October 2011

    Being the father of a new baby boy is pretty exciting, but being the father of INTEGRIS Health Edmond’s 1,000th baby made it even more special.
    “When we got to the hospital, the night-shift nurse told us we were in a race with another couple who had gotten there at 7 a.m.,” said Bryan Lane, the new baby’s father.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • okco fair 100.jpg Oklahoma County Free Fair offers competition, free fun

    Oklahoma County residents are invited to compete in the 100th annual Oklahoma County Free Fair as they take part in many activities scheduled just for them.
    The county fair will get underway Aug. 21-23 at the Oklahoma State Fair Park and will be highlighted by its open adult and youth along with 4-H and Oklahoma Home and Community Education categories, as well as its special contest and activities.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Great Expectations names 4 Edmond public schools ‘Model Schools’

    Great Expectations, a non-profit foundation that provides intensive professional development to teachers and administrators, announces four Edmond Public Schools have earned the organization’s highest distinction: Model School. Based on Great Expectations theory implementation, there are three categories of recognition, including Transitional School, Progressive School and Model School.

    July 31, 2014

  • Grieving children find support at Calm Waters

    Calm Waters Center for Children and Families offers free support groups for children, ages 3–18 and their families whose lives have been affected by death or divorce.
    Oklahoma continues to rank among the top states in the nation for unintentional and premature deaths, leaving single parents raising children. Additionally, Oklahoma continues to have one of the highest divorce rates per capita in the nation. These tragedies leave children feeling isolated, sad, and uncertain.

    July 31, 2014

  • Church hosts adult Vacation BIble School

    “Jesus is the Source” will be the theme of Edmond First Church of the Nazarene’s second annual adult Vacation BIble School.
    The progam will be from 6-8:30 p.m. Aug. 4-7 at the church, located at 3001 S. Boulevard. It will include a light supper at 6 p.m. and songs, games, storytelling and crafts beginning at 6:30 p.m.
    Presenters will include members of the congregation acting as Bible characters and a special performer will be in from Texas.

    July 31, 2014

  • officers killed 1.jpg 67 cops die on duty across country

    The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports that 67 officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2014 — a 31 percent increase from the same period last year.
    Of these 67 officers, 26 were killed in traffic-related incidents, 25 were killed by gunfire and 16 died due to job-related illnesses and other causes. California led all states with eight officer fatalities followed by Florida, New York, Texas and Virginia each with four peace officer fatalities.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lankford, James 2011.jpg Lankford, rest of Oklahoma delegation vote to sue president

    A Democratic leader said the House does not have standing to sue the president after members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation voted to do just that.
    At 6:28 p.m. Wednesday, members of the House approved by a 225-201 partisan margin H. Res. 676, which gives House leadership the authority to file a lawsuit challenging actions by President Barack Obam

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • UCO, local Y create community garden

    A new community garden is providing a transformative learning opportunity for students and helping stock UCO’s Central Pantry.
    The University of Central Oklahoma’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center and the Edmond Rankin YMCA are sponsoring the garden, providing a transformative learning opportunity for students, and organic fruits, vegetables and herbs for the food bank.

    July 31, 2014

  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up
Poll

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
Undecided
     View Results