Video: New 3RD Grade Reading Test Score

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — The state Board of Education approves a passing score for the third grade reading test. And after months of waiting, school districts know what impact a new state law is having on them and what they have to do. School leaders are plotting strategies for 3rd graders who may not advance to the fourth grade.

Third graders need to score at least 926 on the Reading Summative Assessment test or be held back. That’s the mandate from state educators under a new law being implemented this year. It means area educators have some work to do so these students don’t fall through the cracks.

Of the 38,000 third graders who took the 3rd grade basic reading skills test last month, 85% got a passing score. But that leaves 6,000 who may be held back unless they meet special exemptions or pass a makeup. School districts understand what’s at stake both for individual students and families and their districts.

“You want a child to be reading by third grade and we do. We believe that all of our children should be reading by third grade, but the consequences of it, of them being held back, it kind of leans to more consequences than to allow us more time to be able to close the gap of that child’s reading,” said Superintendent Philip Hickman/CMSD.

Districts were looking for some possible wiggle room from the scores on the 50-question computerized exam. They didn’t get it.

“If the cut score, say the cut score is at 3.0. Say a child scores 2.9, well there is a range of error there. So at one given time the child can score 2.9 or 2.7, that next day they take that test they may score 3.6. I mean there is always a standard measure of error. But if you put the cut score, a child’s score at 2.9, that child is going to be retained,” said Philip Hickman.

Districts now are setting up extra help for students facing failure. And with the state expected to raise the bar on a basic passing grade, districts are looking at more reading coaches in early grades to improve scores next year.

Students do have two chances to pass this year. Makeup tests are offered the week of may 18th and again in July.

“We have identified those students we think are on the bubble, on a cusp of failing, and we’re doing a lot of intensive interventions,” said Philip Hickman.

Educators say they understand their marching orders.

“And as a school district we have to remediate services and really get our kids to be successful no matter what,” said Philip Hickman.

District officials do not know individual student test scores, they are expected to be released by the Board of Education by 10 Friday morning.

Categories: Local News

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