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Bill to fail third graders who can’t read up for final vote in Statehouse

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
A bill that could impact as many as 14,000 families in Indiana is up for a final vote in the Statehouse. It would result in students needing to repeat third grade if they have not passed the state’s reading test.
All of the amendments that were brought up in the House this week did not pass. One of those proposed changes would have excluded students who are still learning English from being held back if they couldn’t pass the reading test. There was a separate amendment that said the retention part of the bill would not take effect until the 2025-26 school year.
As it stands now, the bill says students who fail the state’s reading test in 2nd or 3rd grade would be required to attend summer school to help.
It’s the possibility of holding back students that has some lawmakers upset.
“This is not the appropriate time to retain kids. If you want to retain kids, I understand we got to get them to learn to read. It’s a crisis, but it’s kindergarten or first grade,” said Democratic Representative Tonya Pfaff. Pfaff is a high school teacher.
Democratic Representative Ed Delaney of Indianapolis says a lot of factors go into it.
“Ultimately, it has to be a parental decision taken in concordance in discussion with the school officials with the teacher, the appropriate reading coaches, etcetera,” said Delaney on Monday.
Republican Representative Jake Teshka of North Liberty said Monday that by not holding back children who can’t read, we would be failing our students.
“In fact, this was a policy of the State of Indiana going back under Superintendent Tony Bennett, and a short time after we instituted that policy, it was a DOE policy, we saw a pretty significant rise in test scores. Unfortunately, when Superintendent Glenda Ritz came in did away with that policy, we have seen a precipitous drop since then,” said Teshka.
The bill was approved in the Senate. It is up for a final vote before the full House.

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2 comments

DAVID A KRIEGEL February 28, 2024 at 10:28 am

If a child can not read can you imagine the Childs frustration? Going to school knowing you can not comprehend like your peers? You fail tests, get depressed? Teach a child to read is critical !!! If holding them back can make them excel try it do not pass them along from grade to grade When I was running Navy schools we would come across students who were failing and finf THEY COULD NOT READ but had been able to struggle by We always taught them to read there and then

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Thor March 2, 2024 at 4:45 pm

Fail the teachers…and the education system…too.

Every school can have a Circus Maximus for entertainment but they can’t seem to find the time to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. Your tax dollars at work and failing.

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