Fewer Wake County third-grade students in danger of not being promoted

Posted by T. Keung Hui on February 20, 2014 

Now only a third of Wake County’s third-grade students are still in danger of attending reading camps and being retained at the end of the school year.

Todd Wirt, Wake’s assistant superintendent for facilities, told school board members on Tuesday that 8,000 of the district’s 12,100 third-grade students now meet the reading proficiency requirements under the state’s Read To Achieve law. Wake is taking advantage of all the flexibility it can get from state education and political leaders who are leery of too many students having to attend summer reading camps.

Wake had received permission from the State Board of Education earlier this month to use the CASE 21 tests as a means of satisfying Read To Achieve. Other districts received permission to use different tests, including the mClass Reading 3D assessment system.

Districts are being allowed to use any of the methods approved by the State Board.

The mClass system was already mandated by the state to help teachers assess student knowledge. But now proficiency on the mClass assessments can also be used for a good cause exemption to Read to Achieve.

Wirt said that including mClass with all the exemptions helped boost Wake’s numbers.

The 8,000 students will still need to take the state’s end-of-grade reading test. But even if they fail the exam, they’ve still met the RTA requirements.

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