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
  • 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

  • Man allegedly assaults officer on Tinker AFB

    A metro man faces an assault complaint after he allegedly nearly struck a federal officer with a vehicle during a pursuit that began as a traffic stop on Tinker Air Force Base, court records show.
    Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said Wednesday a criminal complaint was unsealed charging James Williams, 60, of Del City, with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.

    July 30, 2014

  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • drugs 1.jpg K9 hot on drug trail

    An Oklahoma County deputy and his K9 partner have logged another impressive drug seizure, records show.
    Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Myers said Monday a deputy noticed a car weaving and straddling lanes on I-40 near the Meridian Avenue exit. Myers said the deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the two people inside.
    The driver and passenger told conflicting stories about their trip, Myers said. The deputy also smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle, Myers said.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • City spends $1.7 million on ITS

    Public safety will benefit by the Intelligent Transportation System with its implementation by the City of Edmond, said Steve Commons, assistant city manager.
    More vehicles are added to traffic volume as Edmond’s population grows. ITS connects all of the city’s traffic signals in order to improve traffic flow in present time with greater efficiency, Commons said Wednesday.
    “Some of that can be done through computer automation that tracks how traffic is changing,” Commons said.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
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