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3rd GRADE READING TEST

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 18 2014 at 5:46pm

Posted: 5:06 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, 2014

1 in 8 fails to pass third-grade reading test

Ohio students have 2 chances left this summer; many won’t fully advance to fourth grade in the fall.

By Eric Schwartzberg

Staff Writer

    One of every eight Ohio third-graders has yet to pass the state reading test, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Education.

    Under Ohio’s new Third-Grade Reading Guarantee, those 16,068 students are at risk of repeating third grade unless they qualify for a waiver, or pass the state reading test or an approved alternative test this summer.

    “These preliminary results show that most Ohio students have mastered the reading skills they need to be successful, but more needs to be done,” said State Superintendent Richard Ross. “We need to continue and in some cases increase our efforts to ensure every boy and girl in Ohio will have the skills necessary to be lifelong learners.”

    Hamilton City School District saw 87.4 percent of its third-graders pass the test, matching the state average, according to ODE.

    “The district was proud of the job third grade students did on the reading OAA this year, and there was a great deal of growth in third grade scores between the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years,” said Keith Millard, Hamilton’s assistant superintendent of instruction.

    Middletown City School District saw 82.1 percent of its third-graders pass the reading portion of the OAA.

    “We’re right in there then,” said Debbie Houser, curriculum coordinator for the district. “If the state average is 87.4 that means that you had quite a few above that and quite a few below that, so we’re within five percent.”

    In Butler County, Talawanda School District had the highest passage rate. Of its 196 students, 185 passed the test, a 94.4 percent passage rate.

    The New Miami school fared the worst with just 39 of its 55 third graders, or 70.9 percent, passing the test.

    In Warren County public schools, Wayne Local School District had the highest passage rate. Ninety-nine of its 101 third grade students passed the test, a 98 percent passage rate.

    Franklin schools finished with 88.9 percent passing, the least amount among Warren County’s eight districts, but still outpaced half of Butler County districts.

What happens next?

    Three categories of students are exempt from repeating third grade regardless of their reading test scores —“limited English proficient” students who have had less than three years in an English as a Second Language program; special education students on certain Individualized Education Programs; and students who were retained in a previous grade.

    ODE spokesman John Charlton said schools can give third-graders one more crack at the OAA exam in reading during the week of July 7. In addition, students can also take one of the alternative tests — the Iowa Assessment, Terra Nova 3, or the Measurement of Academic Progress — at any time during the summer.

    Hamilton and Middletown school districts this week are contacting parents of third grade students who did not earn a minimum qualifying score of 392 on the fall third-grade reading OAA to inform them of their child’s results.

    “We have to turn right around and test those children that haven’t made the cutoff the week of July 7, so that’s a quick turnaround,” Houser said.

    Still, some students will not pass the reading exam this summer. Under Ohio law, those students can still take fourth-grade classes in all other subjects next fall if they are ready, but they are required to get 90 minutes of reading instruction each school day, and work with a “high-performing reading teacher.”

    If the student’s reading improves, he or she can be tested and moved fully into the fourth grade in the middle of the year.

    Hamilton students who need additional supports in third-grade reading will be enrolled in the district’s summer school program that will begin on Monday, Millard said.

    “These students will have the opportunity to take the reading OAA again in the summer, as well as the Terra Nova 3 in order to earn a qualifying score to potentially be promoted to fourth grade,” he said.

    Middletown students who haven’t made the 392 cutoff will take part in a test prep intervention program, then take the OAAs again in July, Houser said.

    Millard said Hamilton City School District strategically scheduled summer school this year to accommodate the return date of the test results.

    “While there is a short window for intervention, the district feels strongly that the interventions in place during summer school will aid in helping students grow and be successful on the summer reading assessments,” he said.

    School starts on Aug. 13. Those Hamilton third graders who earn a passing score on the Terra Nova will be eligible for promotion to fourth grade, and that score will be available at the end of summer school, Millard said. For those who do not pass the Terra Nova, promotion decisions will have to wait until the summer OAA scores are returned on Aug. 15, he said.

    Middletown will turn to the results of Measures of Academic Progress — or MAP — for its alternative assessment, Houser said.

    “Those students who have not made criteria up until this point, they could possibly hit that 392 when the test scores come back at the beginning of the next school year and then they could be promoted to the fourth grade,” she said.

Staff Writer Jeremy P. Kelley contributed to this report.

 

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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2014 at 6:42am
Middletown City School District saw 82.1 percent of its third-graders pass the reading portion of the OAA.
    “We’re right in there then,” said Debbie Houser, curriculum coordinator for the district. “If the state average is 87.4 that means that you had quite a few above that and quite a few below that, so we’re within five percent.”



QUITE A FEW ABOVE THAT AND QUITE A FEW BELOW THAT.....WHAT? Anyway you twist it, the numbers say you were below average as to statewide numbers passing as your passing percentage (82.1%) is below the state's AVERAGE passing percentage (87.4%).

82% of the kids passed the reading which is 5.3% points BELOW the state AVERAGE. IE- if this were a grading scale, Middletown 3rd graders would grade out a C- to a D+ if a C is average on passage in reading.

"Hamilton City School District saw 87.4 percent of its third-graders pass the test, matching the state average, according to ODE"

Hamilton matched the average. Middletown did not in a comparison of similar demographic cities.

Bottom line: This district was below average in a testing category for a designated grade level. This is what we have been seeing for a long time now.

"Three categories of students are exempt from repeating third grade regardless of their reading test scores —“limited English proficient” students who have had less than three years in an English as a Second Language program; special education students on certain Individualized Education Programs; and students who were retained in a previous grade"

WHY? How is the exemption from repeating a grade going to help them succeed? So the passing criteria is in place but is waved in these instances? We have a system in place where goals to pass to the next level must be reached......except in certain instances where we lower the bar so that anyone can pass, even without trying. How will this help these kids when they go out for their first job experience?
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Marcia Andrew View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2014 at 2:28pm
Vet,
 
Well, you are certainly correct that Middletown's 82.1% is below the state average of 87.4%.  We certainly would not want to look on any positive side of the story, including the fact that the vast majority -- 82% -- of Middletown third graders passed the third grade reading guarantee, despite the majority of them having started kindergarden behind, and testing as not ready for kindergarden.  Geez, if we looked at it that way, we might have to admit that Middletown schools are doing something right, and that would not jibe with your story line that the Middletown schools are a complete failure, right?
 
We also would certainly not want to look at the fact that just last year, only 73.6% of Middletown third graders passed the state reading test.  Because if we point out how the schools are consistently improving, we will just be dismissed as rose-colored-eyeglass-wearing Pollyannas.  Now, to be fair, I will tell you that the third grade guarantee cutoff on the reading test is a score of 392, whereas the cutoff for a score of "proficient" (passing) on the same test, for purposes of the state report card, remains a 400.  So, the apples-to-apples comparison is that last school year, 73.6% of third graders earned a proficient score (400 points or higher) and this year, I am told approximately 78% did.  Still, an improvement.  Another 4% scored between 392 and 400.  The state wasn't keeping track of the third grade reading guarantee last year, so I do not know last year, how the percentage would change if you added in scores between 392 and 400.  Under the scoring system in place for the last 10 years or so, this year's 78% passing would have earned Middletown an "indicator" on the state report card -- you know, Vet, the ones you like to say we only have 6 of, even though last year it was 8?  However, starting with the school year that just ended, the state has changed the rules, and a district will only earn an indicator if 80% or more of students in a particular subject and grade pass the test.  Seems a little arbitrary.
 
You ask, why would there be exemptions from the third grade reading guaranty for certain categories of students; how will that help those students?  Well (and I am assuming here, perhaps incorrectly, that you actually want an answer, that the question was not rhetorical), to start with, kids who are held back a grade are at an increased risk of dropping out of school, and for kids who are held back more than one grade, the odds are almost certain they will drop out before graduating.  We want to keep them in school, so they have a chance of catching up.  As to ESL students, experts recognize it takes some time to become comfortable with reading and writing English if it is not the child's first language, but their challenge with the language skills does not mean they are not capable of learning math, science and social studies at grade level.  If you keep them back in third grade because they are still learning English as a second language, you are putting them further behind in the other subjects.  Plus, increasing the risk they will drop out of school (see above).  And many special education students will never read at grade level, and some may not ever be able to pass the third grade reading test, but do you really want 15 year olds in third grade?  That is not good either for the special ed student or for the 8 year olds in third grade.  For any student who is moved on to 4th grade under these exceptions, interventions (that is education-speak for extra help) must be put in place to work with them to try to get their reading levels up to grade level. They are not just moved along without support.
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acclaro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2014 at 2:57pm
There is only one measure which matters: EXCELLENT rating for the district.
 
Getting better, almost there, trying harder, simply means nothing.
 
Mediocrity may be accepted in Middletown as norm, but never by an intellectually and driven, individual.
 
Ping me when it hits EXCELLENT. Otherwise....Next.
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2014 at 3:44pm
Ms. Andrew:

"Well, you are certainly correct that Middletown's 82.1% is below the state average of 87.4%. We certainly would not want to look on any positive side of the story, including the fact that the vast majority -- 82% -- of Middletown third graders passed the third grade reading guarantee, despite the majority of them having started kindergarden behind, and testing as not ready for kindergarden. Geez, if we looked at it that way, we might have to admit that Middletown schools are doing something right, and that would not jibe with your story line that the Middletown schools are a complete failure, right?"

The Middletown schools are not a complete failure Ms. Andrew. They are, however, stuck in neutral and not moving upward enough, quickly enough, to make one feel good about things. YOU, were not here when the schools were excellent, respected, performing and I attended them. YOU have been here, however, to have seen nothing but complacency with regard to achieving anything close to what they were back then.

Ms. Andrew:

"Under the scoring system in place for the last 10 years or so, this year's 78% passing would have earned Middletown an "indicator" on the state report card -- you know, Vet, the ones you like to say we only have 6 of, even though last year it was 8? However, starting with the school year that just ended, the state has changed the rules, and a district will only earn an indicator if 80% or more of students in a particular subject and grade pass the test. Seems a little arbitrary"

You were at 6 for years. You improved to as high as 10 indicators met and fell backwards to 6 at some point in time. Now you say it was 8 last year. So be it. Fact is, you folks have been bouncing around for years in a window of 6 to 10 met. The indicator system has been around for how many years now? And your schools have not come close to meeting half of them.....ever. It if took you a decade or so to come close to, but not reach the half way point, how many decades, at your current pace, will it take to reach the top? Give us an estimate as to year.

I notice that every time you respond to criticism, you love to spin the internal comparison of Middletown school improvements. The reason you never compare Middletown's performance with the surrounding schools is because they are light years beyond what you are producing and while the numbers would be more accurate, wouldn't impress anyone as you like to spin it. Your internal number comparison is bogus because you are using a poor performance number from last year to compare to a slightly improved poor performance number from the current. Doesn't matter. BOTH are still poor compared to the rest of the community schools around us.

ANALOGY TIME:

THE SCHOOL POSITION IS....

I HAVE A BARREL FULL OF BAD APPLES FROM LAST YEAR AND I WANT YOU TO COMPARE THIS YEAR'S BARREL OF BAD APPLES THAT SEEMS TO HAVE FEWER DEFECTS IF YOU LOOK HARD ENOUGH.

Why not attempt to change the process to SIGNIFICANTLY ELIMINATE the bad apple possibilities so that you won't have to look so hard to convince people that you have improved enough for them to notice? You are suggesting that we should all get really excited about a small gain over such a long time. It isn't impressive, not when it has taken decades to get to the middle of the lower echelon of the schools in Ohio.

Ms. Andrew:

"If you keep them back in third grade because they are still learning English as a second language, you are putting them further behind in the other subjects."

IF YOU DON'T KEEP THEM BACK TO LEARN ENGLISH, IT WON'T MATTER HOW WELL THEY DO IN THE OTHER SUBJECTS. IF THEY CAN'T COMMUNICATE PROPERLY IN THIS COUNTRY, HOW ARE THEY GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THEIR JOB CAREERS AS THEY ATTEMPT TO COMMUNICATE ON A DAILY BASIS? THIS IS AN ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY. WE SHOULD NOT CHANGE THAT FACT TO ACCOMODATE THOSE THAT SPEAK OTHER LANGUAGES. WE SHOULD NOT COMPROMISE OUR METHODS TO ACCOMODATE THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO LIVE HERE. IF THEY CHOOSE TO COME HERE TO LIVE, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR LEARNING THE LANGUAGE. ADOPTING THEIR LANGUAGE AS AN ALTERNATIVE IS NOT AN OPTION MS. ANDREW. JMO

Ms. Andrew:

"Plus, increasing the risk they will drop out of school (see above)."

THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE FOR THEM. THEY CAN ALWAYS RETURN TO THEIR NATIVE COUNTRY AND ATTEND THE SCHOOLS THERE.

TOO KIND....TOO GENTLE MS. ANDREW. TOO MANY PROBLEMS TO SOLVE AND WILL ONLY GET WORSE BY STAYING WITH THIS MINDSET. THE COUNTRY WAS BETTER OFF WHEN WE HAD A MORE STRICT, RIGID, NON-COTTLING, RULES ENFORCED SOCIETY.

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW SCHOOLS. GLAD YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANTED. BE HAPPY MS. ANDREW.   

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2014 at 4:18pm
Middletown problem #1 imo:

Our students accept mediocrity by not giving 100%
Their parents aren't concerned, and too many live in a way that discourages education and self-advancement in life

Our athletes are comfortable with just good--and lack the determination to become "champions", though many(through parental conduct) believe that they are "champions" whether they achieve that level or not

Our city govt. is complacent in thinking that we are improving our quality of life, when clearly we are not

Our citizens are complacent in thinking that there is nothing they can do to make things better(a national trend) and have become so distanced from govt. entities that they don't pressure them for REAL accomplishment.

As a whole, we are sinking in the current world order, only propped up by a "quality of life" financed by a long-term house of cards that--if not treated with REAL corrective(and probably painful) medicine will arrive much sooner than many think.

We CAN change this, but it requires serious modification and tough love--not new taxes or ways to fleece actual working families of their income to subsidize those that have drained society for far too long.

Rigid toughness and higher standards are not the enemy--in fact they are a necessary cure.
The sooner the better
Too many people have worked too hard and lived the right way for far too long just to lose everything in order to placate the screaming majority who have failed both themselves, their families and the rest of society.

jmo
end of today's downer rant
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2014 at 4:52pm
No rant nor Debie Downer. Spoken on factual observation and an eye on the decline throughout Middletown, throughout the nation.
 
Living in Alice in Wonderland daily makes for a Humpty Dumpty existence....awaiting the fall off the wall. Middletown has fallen.
 
Reality time, or someone clean up the mess in aisle 7.
 
Excellent resonates, nothing less.
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2014 at 4:58pm
absolutely
the continual mantra of "it is getting better" does not make it so

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2014 at 8:10pm
I agree Spider. 
Time for everyone to wake up, roll up their sleeves, go to work and make this a better world.
Every year we are falling a little further down the ladder of greatness. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blue7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2014 at 8:53pm
Mrs. Andrew, are the scores from the Alternate Assessments part of this score released? Does MCSD have a higher number of students who qualify for special services or Alternate testing than other comparable districts, or about the same?

Or do the ESCs (Butler/Warren) provide those assesments and keep the data?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 20 2014 at 1:25pm
blue 7,  I am not sure if the percentages that the state has released take into account students who, because of their special needs, take an Alternative Assessment.  Middletown does have a higher percentage of students with special needs than other districts. The state mandates that a very small percentage of students may have a passing score on an Alternative Assessment qualify as passing the standard achievement test.  For the rest of special education students beyond that limited number, they are counted as below proficient, even if they passed the Alternative Assessmen (unless they took the regular standardized test and passed it)t.
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