#HB673 – “Modify Read to Achieve” In K12 Committee Today

NCGAThe controversial and ill-implemented Read To Achieve program might be getting a face-list. HB 673 will be heard this morning by the K-12 House Education Committee.

While Republican legislators came up with this idea (courtesy of listening to Jeb Bush), NC’s Department of Public Instruction clearly botched the implementation.

Read to Achieve arguably has admirable intentions, but then again, so did Common Core and look at what a steaming pile that has turned out to be.

Flashback to 2014:

The problem is a political one.  Republican legislators who approved the program are not pleased with the way that Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson has implemented it.  But conservatives are beginning to blame Republicans, not NC DPI, for Read to Achieve’s implementation problems.
– Dr. Terry Stoops, Republicans have a Read To Achieve Problem

According to the North Carolina House calendar, HB 673 (Modify Read To Achieve) is on the docket to be heard by the House K-12 Education Committee.

The current changes proposed to HB 673 are subtle with changes mostly to definitions, and thus impacting the rest of the law:

  • Dropping the reading portfolio requirements from three to two work examples per standard.
  • Upping the ‘competency’ threshold of a work sample to qualify as proficient from 70% to 80%.
  • “If a parent or guardian does not enroll the student in a reading camp, the parent shall notify the school in which the student is enrolled of any alternative reading interventions or instructional supports that shall be provided to the student to achieve reading proficiency.”

Today’s K-12 Committee calendar:

EDUCATION – K-12 LOB 643 10:00 am
HB 238 Duty-Free Time/Lunch for Teachers.
HB 248 Eliminate NC Final Exam.
HB 484 Home Schoolers Participate in School Sports.
HB 581 Computer Coding Course Elective.
HB 587 School Flexibility Act.
HB 673 Modify Read to Achieve.
HB 687 Public Schools/Testing Schedule.
HB 803 School Performance Scores.

Worth noting is that Senator Tillman has a bill attempting to get rid of PEP’s (Personal Education Plans). One of the core components of Read to Achieve is the PEP.

Remember, Read To Achieve dumps up to 36 mini-tests on 3rd graders, who are already inundated with multiple other tests throughout the year like weekly Common Core assessments, mClass, Case 21 and the Common Core aligned state EOG tests.

The threat of a a kid being held back and being required by law to attend a Summer reading camps if they did not successfully jump through the ridiculous number of reading hoops set by Read to Achieve set off a firestorm with parents.

It bears noting that at a Read To Achieve meeting I attended last year, I counted a possible total of 95 separate assessments given to 3rd graders. When do the teachers teach and are they just teaching to the tests?

Just a reminder, there are over 200 education related bills at the NC General Assembly right now.

Related Reading:

Common Core and Read To Achieve In NC

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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