Our partners at StateImpact Indiana report that the sponsor of a bill that serves as the basis for Indiana’s third grade reading guarantee says that education officials overstepped.
Indiana State Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, says the state’s Board of Education (whose members are appointed by the governor) erred in deciding that Indiana third graders who fail the state’s third grade reading test must be held back:
“I would just put the Department of Education and the State Board [of Education] on notice that they’re clearly not in line with the words in the statute so they’re opening themselves up perhaps to a lawsuit or a complaint by somebody on those grounds,” Kenley told StateImpact.
Kenley’s comments highlight, at minimum, the confusion surrounding the IREAD-3. Other state lawmakers and district-level educators have echoed Kenley’s comments, saying it’s inappropriate for a single test administered by the state to determine whether students get held back.
In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich is supporting legislation to set up a similar “you must pass the third grade reading test to get promoted” policy.
Kasich’s third-grade reading guarantee proposal calls for schools to begin testing children’s reading skills in kindergarten. Schools would have to file plans for how they’d help kindergarteners and first graders who struggle to read. Second-grade struggling readers would be enrolled in summer school. And third graders who struggle to read would get extra help until they are reading on grade level.
Third graders reading below grade level for two years who also fail the third-grade reading test must be held back – with certain exceptions for special education and English language-learning students.