Marysville News

Third-Grade Reading Guarantee

District boosts passage rate on spring test

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Marysville schools improved the district's passage rate on the state-mandated third-grade reading test by 24.7 percent since the fall.

The Ohio Department of Education released data last week showing how third-graders around the state performed on the latest round of the Ohio Achievement Assessment. Students are required to achieve a passing reading score on the OAA or an alternate test to be promoted to fourth grade.

In Marysville schools, 88.9 percent of the district's third-graders -- 383 of 431 students -- passed the OAA reading test given in May. That's up from the 64.2 percent who passed in October.

Statewide, the spring passing average for public schools was 88.5 percent, according to the ODE.

The fall test allowed districts to assess where its third-graders were and what it needed to do to bring them up to speed.

Superintendent Diane Mankins said it's important to remember the OAA measures what students should know at the end of third grade.

"So we don't and shouldn't expect all kids to pass in the fall. We are pleased with our growth from fall to spring as a district," Mankins said in an email interview. "Our teachers and principals spent extensive time working to develop interventions and systems to help students be successful in reading."

State lawmakers put a Third-Grade Reading Guarantee in place last summer to identify students who are reading below grade level.

The 50-question OAA reading test is a mix of multiple choice, short-answer and extended-answer questions.

According to the ODE, scores are scaled and have a possible range of 260 to 503. Students who failed to reach the passing score of 392 in the fall or spring are supposed to be held back. Eventually, any student who scores below 400, which is considered proficient, will be retained.

While 48 Marysville students missed the benchmark, Mankins said they won't be held back.

"The state offered an alternative assessment for students. We administered that in the spring, combined with the Spring OAA and we have zero retentions headed into next year," she said via email.

After the fall results came out, Mankins met with principals to talk about what they were doing with individual students and about opportunities for intervention within the school day.

"First and foremost, we relied on good, research-based instruction in all classrooms. With it being an end of the year test, October gave us another set of data to consider when making those instructional decisions," Mankins wrote. "In addition to classroom instruction, students were offered a variety of before, during, and after school intervention to help fill the gaps."

Mankins said the district is also offering summer reading help to students identified as needing additional assistance.

"We have students involved with that even though they met the requirements," she said.

The number of students who scored below 392 in each elementary school is:

* Edgewood -- nine of 91;

* Mill Valley -- 10 of 85;

* Navin -- 11 of 82;

* Northwood -- 11 of 110;

* Raymond -- four of 53.

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