Third graders have more chances to reach the next grade

Published: Feb. 18, 2014 at 1:25 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 19, 2014 at 4:57 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Third graders will now have more opportunities to pass to the 4th grade.

The Read to Achieve Law states third graders who couldn't pass the End of Grade (EOG) reading exam were in jeopardy of repeating the third grade.  The state has since relaxed that law.

Last week the Charlotte - Mecklenburg school board voted unanimously to approve the changes.

Now a third grader has five chances to pass a reading test before getting promoted.

CMS leaders say they are relieved students are getting multiple opportunities to pass so they won't get left behind.

The school board approved three alternative tests for third graders.

They are: Northwest Evaluation Association's Measure of Academic Progress, Discovery Education's Discovery Ed Assessments, and Amplify's/North Carolina's Reading 3D Text Reading Comprehension (TRC) assessment.

Educators say implementing these new opportunities will be challenging.

Before there were teacher assistants (TA's) to help administer the tests, but budget cuts forced CMS to eliminate TA positions.

"You have a fewer number of folks outside the classroom teacher," CMS superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said. "Who can actually deliver on these assessments, so that's where it becomes problematic and challenging. It's not just whatever is in the law, but trying to implement the law with fidelity as it was passed."

CMS is now using guidance counselors and other workers to help hand out tests.

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