One size doesn't fit all in holding back third-graders in Oklahoma

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed a reasonable change to the state's third grade reading mandate that would return local authority to education decisions for children.

State law due to go into full effect this year would automatically hold back third grade students who aren't reading at grade level. There is a good principle behind that idea: Children spend the first three grades learning to read and the rest of their time in school reading to learn. If they aren't at grade level at that critical juncture, they are in danger of slipping further behind.

But if that principle is applied in a one-size-fits-all basis for the state, the results could be devastating.

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