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.