The headline at the News and Observer reads, “More NC third graders retained for poor reading“.
File this one under: Things I saw Coming And Was Called Crazy For.
The second year of the state’s public school literacy law saw more third graders – about 1 in 7, in all – retained because they were not reading well.
Under the law, most students who cannot show they are reading at grade level before beginning fourth grade risk being retained. Schools have the option of having students repeat third grade, moving them to a transition class or to a fourth grade class where they receive extra reading help. Students are counted as being retained in all those cases.
The state’s retention rate rose slightly to 13.6 percent from 12.7 percent from last year. But the rates of increase were significantly higher in some local districts. In Durham County, the retention rate increased to 23.2 percent, up from 17.8 percent. In Orange County, the retention rate increased more than five percentage points, to 18.2 percent.
Rates increased in Johnston County to 7.1 percent from 6.5 percent, and in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools to 7.5 percent from 6.5 percent. Wake retained 11.2 percent of its third graders, up from 9.9 percent last year.
The powers that be at the NC Legislature have adopted more Bush tied reforms than just Read To Achieve. Another example is the wildly unpopular A-F report cards. Don’t forget the Bush/Common Core influence behind the new push for Digital Learning either.
It’s no coincidence that Jeb Bush and FEE are the biggest Common Core supporters beyond the Chamber of Commerce and Common Core’s main financial backer, Bill Gates himself.
What the article does not cite is that North Carolina has just entered year four of Common Core. That means that the kids hitting Third grade this year have never known anything but Common Core.
If the claims of supporters of the standards are to be believed, scores should be going through the roof, yet they are not. Supporters of the standards promised us flying cars or something… right?
Common Core’s standards in grades K-3 have been criticized for being age and developmentally inappropriate. Logic dictates that in order to be a good writer, one must first be a good reader.
Common Core’s emphasis has been the opposite and for some time now, critics have pointed out that the English Language Arts (ELA) standards are pushing writing more than reading.
The early standards often push skill sets appropriate for a child who is already a proficient reader. For example, the First grade standards include a long list of the learning the finer points of English grammar and syntax without children being confident and proficient readers yet.
At what point does Dr. Atkinson admit her precious Common Core is failing our kids? Perhaps maybe once her term as President of the CCSSO is over?
For the uninitiated, the CCSSO is the Council of Chief State School Officers. This organization, alongside the National Governors Association were the groups used to give legitimacy to the claim that Common Core was ‘state-led’. These two groups also hold the copyright on the standards.
The article closes with this:
Sherri Miller, director of K-3 Literacy in Wake, said attendance in the district’s camps increased this year, as did the percentage of students who passed a reading test after camp.
Nothing changed dramatically in the district, Miller said, making it difficult to say why more students were retained.
It’s not difficult to say why more students were retained if one considers what is being taught: Common Core.
- Clarify Read to Achieve/Sch. Perform. Grades. (House Bill 230 / S.L. 2014-5)
- North Carolina: The Negative Impact of “Read to Achieve” for Third Graders