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Read to Achieve helps NC third graders meet standards

With the help of Read to Achieve, nearly 80 percent of North Carolina third graders met reading proficiency standards last year, but Rowan-Salisbury and Kannapolis City schools fell behind with only 72 percent and 73.2 percent reaching proficiency, respectively.
Lawmakers implemented Read to Achieve last school year, which allowed additional avenues for third graders to prove reading proficiency if they didn’t achieve a passing score on their end-of-grade test.
These additional avenues included retaking the end-of-grade test; alternative assessments, such as Reading 3D or a Read to Achieve reading portfolio and a reading summer camp. If, after completing these options, a student still did not reach proficiency, they were held back.
A total of 768 Rowan-Salisbury third graders, or 51.8 percent, demonstrated reading proficiency on the beginning-of-grade test, the end-of-grade test or the end-of-grade retest, leaving 714 students who did not.
Of those 714 students, 258, or 41.2 percent, took and passed an alternative assessment. An additional 41 students demonstrated proficiency at a Read to Achieve Summer camp, a total of 11.1 percent.
Eighty-eight students, or 5.9 percent of third graders, were given good cause exemptions, such as learning disabilities or certain linguistic challenges, and 327 were retained in the third-grade because they did not reach proficiency. The children held back account for 22.1 percent of Rowan-Salisbury third graders.
In Kannapolis City Schools, a lower percentage of students initially passed the end-of-grade test, but a higher percentage reached proficiency overall.
The district has a total of 440 third graders, and 214 of them demonstrated reading proficiency on the initial testing, while 226 students, or 51.4 percent, did not.
An additional 104 students passed an alternative assessment, and four demonstrated proficiency at a reading camp, 59.8 and 5.7 percent respectively of those who did not initially reach proficiency.
Fifty-two students, or 11.8 percent, were not retained because of a good cause exemption, and 66, or 15 percent, of third graders were retained.
While Read to Achieve allowed an additional 281 Rowan-Salisbury and 322 Kannapolis third graders achieve reading proficiency, both districts still lag behind the state average.
Nearly 80 percent of North Carolina third graders demonstrated reading proficiency during the 2013-14 school year, and 18.8 percent of those demonstrated proficiency through an alternative assessment or reading camp.

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