Wake Ed

Calling yourself a partial fourth-grade student

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.