The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

July 3, 2014

Promoted to 4th grade

ENID, Okla. — Out of 130 Enid third-graders who failed or did not take state-mandated reading proficiency tests in April, 78 will be promoted to fourth grade in the fall and 52 retained.

Amber Fitzgerald, human resources and communications director for Enid Public Schools, provided data on third-graders with unsatisfactory scores and what was done in each case.

• 128 made unsatisfactory scores, and two other students did not take the test.

• 11 are English language learners.

• 21 took the Oklahoma Alternative Assessment for students with severe disabilities instead of the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test, therefore they did not require a good cause exception and are not included in the 128 whose scores were unsatisfactory.

• 15 took a different alternative assessment, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, before the end of the school year, Fitzgerald said. The district also provided summer school, where reading intervention was provided and the alternative test was offered a second time.

• 24 are on Individual Education Plans.

• Four students previously were retained two years.

• 29 were discussed in a committee meeting to determine whether to promote or retain. The committee consisted of the parents, the third-grade teacher, a fourth-grade teacher, a reading specialist and the principal.

• 78 were promoted.

• 52 were retained.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education website, these are the exemptions to the third-grade reading retention law:

• English Language Learners who have had less than two years of instruction in English and are identified as “Limited-English Proficient” or “ELL” on a screening tool approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Education Office of Bilingual/Migrant Education and have a Language Instruction Educational Plan in place prior to the test.

• Students with disabilities whose IEP indicates they are to be assessed with the Oklahoma Alternate Assessment Program.

• Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of performance on an alternative standardized reading test approved by the State Board of Education, which includes SAT 10, Iowa Test of Basic Skills and Terranova.

• Students who demonstrate through a teacher-developed portfolio that they can read on grade level. The student portfolio includes evidence demonstrating the student’s mastery of the Oklahoma state standards in reading equal to grade-level performance on the reading portion of the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test.

• Students with disabilities who take the OCCT and have an IEP that states they have received intense remediation in reading for more than two years, but still demonstrate a deficiency in reading and were previously retained one year or were in a transitional grade during kindergarten, first-, second- or third-grade.

• Students who have received intensive remediation in reading for two or more years, but still demonstrate a deficiency in reading and who already have been retained in kindergarten, first grade, second grade or third grade for a total of two years. Transitional grades count.

“More than 80 percent of EPS third-grade students passed the state reading test given in April,” Fitzgerald said. “Throughout the year, teachers monitored progress and assisted students with their individual needs, providing data-driven and small-group instruction, as well as intervention before, during and after school hours.”

Fitzgerald said teachers kept in touch with parents about student progress throughout the year.

“Through benchmark tests and other measurements, we know there was significant growth over the course of this school year for individual children,” Fitzgerald said. “We will continue to explore and implement ways to improve instruction for all of our students.”

Fitzgerald said the meetings between parents and the schools allowed teachers, parents and principals to have “very meaningful and productive conversations about how we can strengthen reading instruction and continue to improve how we meet the individual needs of students.”

Statewide scores for the third-grade reading Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test, as released in early May by ODE, showed 1,120 — 2.2 percent — scored advanced; 32,531 — 64 percent — scored proficient; 7,070 — 13.9 percent — scored limited knowledge; and 7,970 — 15.7 percent — scored unsatisfactory.

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