With “greater focus around strategies for helping students improve their reading proficiency” – and some help as well from the state – the Wake County school system is touting how 90.1 percent of third-grade students were promoted under the new Read to Achieve initiative.
In its press release, Wake notes how 90.1 percent of its third-graders in the 2013-14 school year qualified for promotion to fourth grade this year. That compares to the state average of 87.3 percent reported at today’s State Board of Education meeting.
Cathy Moore, Wake’s deputy superintendent for school performance, says the district’s performance shows how “elementary teachers and administrators, along with instructional resource teachers, literacy coaches, support personnel and parents across Wake County have dedicated themselves to effective strategies for reading instruction.”
The state did its part with changes in the tests and exemptions that reduced how many students were not promoted.
The State Board of Education lowered the score needed to pass the end-of-grade reading exam. The result is 60.4 percent of third-graders statewide and 69.4 percent in Wake passed the end-of-grade exam or the beginning-of-grade exam.
From there, Wake raised the proficiency rate to 81.8 percent from students either successfully completing their reading portfolio or passing an alternative test approved by the state. This group includes the students who attending the summer reading camps.
An additional 8.3 percent of students were promoted because they qualified for one of the good-cause exemptions mandated by state legislators who backed the program.
This leaves Wake with 9.9 percent of third-grade students, or 1,199 out of 12,135, who were not considered proficient. These students are either currently repeating third grade or were placed in a fourth-grade class where they’re supposed to get additional reading support.