Calling yourself a partial fourth-grade student

12/20/2013 7:22 PM

12/20/2013 7:24 PM

Don’t call yourself a “partial fourth-grader” if you’re one of those third-grade students who fail the state’s end-of-grade reading exam this spring and are retained.

We reported in today’s article that under the state’s new Read to Achieve program that third-grade students who don’t pass the reading test after a summer reading camp are kept in third grade. The article also noted that those students will receive additional assistance with a chance to be promoted mid-year.

Wake school officials requested a correction, saying that while the third-grade students would get a retention label on their records they should still be considered a fourth-grade student. One school official said kids who are placed in either accelerated reading classes or transition classes are partial fourth-graders as they wait to become full fourth-graders after the mid-year promotion opportunity.

As the state’s guide shows, what’s happening is those students are getting instruction in fourth-grade material while receiving assistance in where they’re deficient in the third-grade content. The retention label is removed if they get the mid-year promotion.

To resolve the issue, we contacted the state Department of Public Instruction to ask whether those students are considered fourth-graders before the mid-year promotion opportunity.

“They are not considered promoted until they have shown proficiency,” replied Carolyn Guthrie, director of K-3 literacy for the state Department of Public Instruction.


The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui.

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