Thursday, October 18, 2012

3rd grade retention

Oklahoma recently joined other states in adopting a measure that holds back 3rd graders who fail to demonstrate sufficient reading ability on a state standardized test.  All of this in a effort to end social promotion.

Hmmm what do I think about this.  Well, not that my opinion is worth a plug nickel or that I am a teacher with years of experience, my head just tells me there are problems with this policy.  My first concern is for kids like my daughter who has a learning disability.  If Julie was faced with passing a test in third grade before she could be promoted she would have crumbled from the anxiety.  The exceptions in Oklahoma for taking this test are few and far between and nothing addresses learning disabilities.

Now, this is just a thought.  If it is expected to cost approximately $10,000 for each child to be retained then why not spend that money in early childhood education instead.  Hire more reading specialists.  In my head 3rd grade is kind of late to identify a reading problem.  Talk about make a child feel like a failure.

One other thought.  We have many excellent teachers who are more than capable of identifying children at risk.  Back them up and give them the support to address the child's needs.  That's why they are there. 

All I know is I feel so sorry for those 3rd grade teachers.  They'll have to wear bullet proof vests when they give the bad news to those parents whose children will not be promoted to 4th grade.

I just got a call from twin #2 and it appears she will have to have another operation on her arm.  She has Kienbocks disease where the lunate bone doesn't get an adequate blood supply and eventually dies.  She had surgery about 18 months ago but it didn't work.  Now they will have to fuse her wrist.  Don't know when she will be having it done but I imagine soon since the doctor said it will only get worse and require more surgery.

So that's now twin 1 and twin 2 in need of surgery.  One wrist and one knee.  I guess they can have it done together and then compare misery.


Olga said...

I believe in the importance of reading, but that is just a terrible idea on so many levels, retaining all 3rd graders who don't pass a particular test. Yikes.

oklhdan said...

I agree Olga....I just don't believe it will accomplish the results they are wanting. I think it has more potential to do harm than good.

marciamayo said...

As usual, Dani, you have your hands full. I agree with you fully on what you said about teachers and teaching and kids and learning.