Holding Back Third-graders Who Cannot Read

The long arm of the law in Arizona is getting serious about creating proficient readers in K-3. Starting in 2013-14, all third-graders in Arizona must prove that they are reading proficiently. If they fail, they will not advance to fourth grade.

Last year, the Arizona Legislature passed House Bill 2732 called Move On When Reading, which is modeled after a 2002 Florida law. Massachusetts, Indiana, and Utah also have similar laws.

Unless educators get “moving” on reform this year, it’s going to be a tough job to get the more than 4,000 third-graders who are classified as “far below” their grade level reading standards up to par.

A report last year by Voices for America's Children found that states, including Arizona, are exaggerating students' reading levels. It found that too many students are passed through the school system even though their scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show their comprehension often lags. It found that two-thirds of the nation's fourth graders are not reading at grade level.

Starting early is key. Not only must a student learn to build words explicitly and sequentially but, additionally, they need the right online reading solution and direct instruction, coupled with progress monitoring.

So, while Arizona is scrambling to pull together more reading specialists, encourage additional reading at home, and look for other ways to bring reading levels up, we couldn’t be more astonished that no one has grasped this simple concept – every teacher, in every grade, in every school should be trained to be a reading specialist… armed with a qualifying, easy-to-learn phonics program and assessments.

Accountability in education for many states now means online assessments, accessibility, and direct instruction. Learn more about our reading solutions here>

Here’s what one customer had to say about helping struggling K-3 readers:

“As a teacher of reading since 2000, I was introduced to and used several different programs for teaching struggling readers. Needless to say, I was frustrated with the slow progress and no one program was flexible enough to help a wide range of students. Then one day, I happened upon Reading Horizons. I have loved it! Thank you Reading Horizons for saving me as a teacher, but most importantly, for giving hope to those students who thought there was no hope left.” – M.S., Austin, Texas

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Oct 14 2011

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