Cracking down on 3rd graders who can't read - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Cracking down on 3rd graders who can't read

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

North Carolina state lawmakers are cracking down on 3rd graders who can't read.

Lawmakers want to do away with social promotion. Soon if a third grader can't read, they will not get passed to the 4th grade.

Right now there are more than 2,000 3rd graders in Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District who are struggling. If the law was in effect today, they would have to repeat 3rd grade.

CMS is not waiting until the law goes into effect to act. The school district is planning to refine its reading programs already in place and will start a summer program to help students. The superintendent has already budgeted money for the extra support.

Teachers are using a method called Balanced Literacy to help get students on grade level. This process allows students to use different methods in the classroom like students reading independently, using technology and having teacher assistants give one on one attention.

Teachers says teacher assistants help get the job done.

"I am able to have small group instruction," CMS teacher Kerry Vreeland said. "Where children are working independently. They are working with a second teacher - really they are getting high quality instruction that is on their level and they are being challenged."

CMS is also concerned because of a tight budget about 400 teacher assistants in CMS could get laid off. School leaders say that would make matters worse when it comes to get students up to par with reading.

CMS has already identified about 1,000 students who need the help and could participate in the summer program the district will establish.

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