Marysville News

Third-grade guarantee

Most Marysville students pass fall reading test

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Although she said there is work to do, Superintendent Diane Mankins said she feels pretty good overall about how Marysville third-graders fared on the Ohio Achievement Assessment reading test given in October.

Results released by the Ohio Department of Education show that 64.2 percent of the district's third-graders passed the test, which is part of the state's new third-grade reading guarantee, aimed at identifying and helping students who are behind in reading skills.

Mankins cautioned, however, that the fall test is actually designed to measure end-of-year skills.

"So you wouldn't expect to have 100-percent passage," she said. "Certainly, there is a lot of learning to do between October and May when they retake it."

The test includes 50 questions, with a mix of multiple choice, short-answer and extended-answer questions. The scores are scaled and, according to the ODE, the possible range of scores on the test is between 260 and 503.

The third-grade reading guarantee says any student who does not meet the benchmark score of 392 must be held back in third grade. The benchmark score will increase over time so that eventually, any student who scores below 400 -- which is considered proficient -- will be retained.

The ODE numbers show that 35.8 percent of Marysville third-graders who took the reading exam in the fall did not meet the currently required 392 score, but Assistant Superintendent Andy Culp said those numbers are raw data and some students are exempt from passing the test.

Exemptions include:

* Students with limited English proficiency who have been enrolled in U.S. schools for less than three full school years and have had less than three years of instruction in an English as a Second Language program

* Special education students whose individual education plans (IEP) specifically exempt them from retention under the third-grade reading guarantee

* Any student who has received intensive remediation for two years and was previously retained in kindergarten

* Students who demonstrate reading competency on an alternative reading assessment approved by the ODE.

Culp said, for example, if 18 students did not pass the test at one elementary, the district might determine that nine of those students are exempt, so a more accurate picture at that school would be nine students did not pass.

"We have not yet disaggregated each building's data to reflect exemptions," he said.

Mankins said the raw data show if the third-grade reading guarantee went into effect today, 154 Marysville students would not go on to fourth grade.

Mankins said administrators met with building principals last week and talked at length about what they were doing with individual students and opportunities for intervention during the school day.

"Kids who have not met the mark are receiving intervention," she said. "Kids who are exceeding the mark are receiving enrichment because we want them to grow even more. We're not going to be satisfied with where they are."

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