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Tougher Guidelines Set for Elementary Students in Oklahoma

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Tougher guidelines are now in effect for students at elementary schools across Oklahoma.

Under the third-grade amendment to the Reading Sufficiency Act, third graders are now required to pass a state test before moving up to the fourth grade.

Students who don’t pass the reading portion of the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test, proving that they can read on at least a second-grade level, will not be advance to the fourth grade, under the act.

This third-grade amendment to the Reading Sufficiency Act was signed  by Governor Mary Fallin in 2011.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi said this new requirement is expected to help combat Oklahoma’s nearly 30% illiteracy rate.

At a press conference held Monday (Jan. 27) at the Oklahoma State Capitol, Barresi explained the importance of having this new requirement in place: “With fourth grade, you stop learning to read and you start reading to learn,” Barresi said.  “Very critical gateway year.”

There are a handful of exemptions in place that would allow third graders to move up to the next grade level, despite the new regulations. For example, students who don’t speak English as their primary language, students with learning disabilities and students who perform on an acceptable level on alternative reading tests could be allowed to begin their fourth grade year, despite their performance on the state test.

For more information on this state law, click here.

For more background on this story from our sister station in Oklahoma City, click here.


  • bobreal

    Back when I was in High School this student that sat behind me would sleep evey day.. But because he could play basketball the teacher never said anything.. He graduated got a scholarship to go to University of Arkansas. He made it one semester; FAILED OUT because he couldn’t read better than a fifth grader.. He’s a Coach today at a High School; but that is all he is allowed to do…

  • CAE

    To be a coach, you must be certified. To be a certified teacher, you must have a college education. Maybe the person you are referring to did fail out, but then realized he couldn’t have the life he wanted and made the neccessary changes to complete his education. I applaud him.

  • Mike

    Must be able to read on a 2nd grade level to advance to the 4th grade? Why not be able to read on a 3rd grade level to move on to 4th?

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