Three Marion Elementary Schools Achieve 100 Percent Passage of Third Grade Reading Guarantee

2014 Reading GuaranteeNearly 96 percent of last year’s eligible third-graders across the state met Ohio’s new reading criteria for promotion to the fourth grade, according to data submitted and reviewed by Ohio’s school districts. Seven Marion-area schools beat that statewide percent.

In fact, three schools saw 100 percent of their eligible third graders advance, including Elgin Elementary and Marion City Schools’ Benjamin Harrison and James Garfield.

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee, passed into law in June 2013, requires schools to provide intervention for struggling readers in grades kindergarten through 3. It also says that third-grade students who are still reading below grade level by the end of the following summer must remain in third grade to build essential reading skills. As a result of the guarantee, districts offered reading intervention programs last school year and summer.

The following is a list of Marion elementary schools along with the percent of students that met the promotion threshold.

William McKinley Elementary School – 93.3%
Rutherford B. Hayes Elementary School – 90.9%
George Washington Elementary School – 96.6%
Benjamin Harrison Elementary School – 100.0%
William H. Taft Elementary School – 90.2%
James A. Garfield Elementary School – 100.0%
Elgin Elementary School – 100.0%
Pleasant Elementary School – 98.8%
Ridgedale Elementary School – 94.5%
Liberty Elementary School – 98.5%
Heritage Elementary School – 98.8%

“We still have work to do, but we can see that the guarantee has been effective,” said Richard A. Ross, state superintendent of public instruction. “I’m proud that our teachers, parents, students and communities worked harder than ever to bring struggling readers up to speed. While these are great results, we need to continue to focus on the approximately 5,000 boys and girls who didn’t meet the threshold last year.”

By the end of the 2013-2014 school year, 90.8 percent of third-graders had achieved the promotion score on the Ohio Achievement Assessment in third-grade reading. An additional 4.1 percent of the class reached the promotion score by taking a similar alternative reading test during the school year or summer. An Ohio Achievement Assessment offered in the summer pushed another 0.9 percent of the class to a promotion score or above.

The total 95.8 percent meeting the promotion criteria excludes the 5.7 percent of last year’s 126,531 third-graders who were exempted from the guarantee because of their Individual Education Plans (IEPs), they are English language learners, they have significant cognitive disabilities or they have been previously retained.

Ohio Department of Education officials are optimistic that the 95.8 percent could creep higher as districts review, appeal and correct their data through the department’s electronic data management system. A spreadsheet showing individual district and school results is available on the Ohio Department of Education website.

Districts are required to provide retained students with 90 minutes of daily reading instruction through a high-performing reading teacher. With this extra support, the department expects districts to promote many of their retained third-graders to fourth grade before this school year is completed under a mid-year promotion provision written into the law.

“Reading is the foundation of learning and the key to success in school, work and life,” Ross said. “I’m pleased that our schools have improved the long-term, future prospects for these students. I expect even greater successes in coming school years.”

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