Daily VideoJanuary 7, 2013
Read or Repeat, Ohio Third Graders Put to the Test
Watch Ohio Third Graders Must Learn to Read or Repeat the Year on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
While a good foundation in reading is essential to succeeding in school, many kids in the U.S. graduate from grade to grade without being able to read at their grade level. This creates problems for students and teachers in later years.
“I have some students who are at a kindergarten level reading, first grade level reading, second grade. I look at it with dismay,” said Ohio fifth grade teacher Linda Hissett.
“The students’ whole day is made harder because all of our texts are based upon a fifth grade reading speed. Math class is harder because you’re having word problems, science, social studies.”
In order to make sure that kids are not going on to the fourth, fifth, or even higher grades without the ability to read, Ohio recently passed legislation that says if a student is not reading on level by the end of the third grade, they will have to repeat the grade.
“Up until third grade, you’re learning to read. After third grade, you’re reading to learn. But if you aren’t well-equipped, reading proficiently at the end of third grade, you are going to struggle throughout the rest of your school years,” said Ohio State Senator Peggy Lehner.
Putting a deadline on the third grade is becoming a more common practice, with 14 states adopting similar measures, 6 since 2010.
However, some critics say that holding kids back doesn’t pay off and may actually result in higher dropout rates down the line, potentially devastating news for disadvantaged minority students who are already five times more likely to be held back.
Ohio schools have had to cut back on tutoring services for thousands of students to pay for reading specialists to come into the schools. To reinstate the programs, Sen. Lehner says the state “might be looking at $50 million, $60 million.”
However, Sen. Lehner argues, something in the education system needs to change.
“It is a risk. And I think we have to take a risk. We have to change what we are doing, because what we have been doing is not working.”
Warm up questions
1. What is the difference between “learning to read” and “reading to learn”?
2. Why do you think it is important for kids to be able to read at grade level?
3. What did your parents or school do to ensure you were at the proper reading level?
1. Do you think this law is the proper way to deal with this problem?
2. Do you think this law will help or hurt kids in the long run?
3. What other measures do you think the state could take to help kids learn to read?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
A sit-in led by Democratic members of the House of Representatives began on the House floor Wednesday as they called for Republican colleagues to allow a vote on gun control legislation. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Democrats once again attempted to push forward gun control legislation this week following last week’s massacre at an Orlando nightclub.Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The man accused of murdering a British member of parliament last Thursday made his first court appearance in London on Saturday. Authorities believe Thomas Mair shot and stabbed Jo Cox to death on a street in broad daylight, because of her position to keep the U.K. in the European Union. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Concern surrounding Zika virus has taken center stage in Brazil, as local organizers of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games assure the world that the country is safe for athletes and tourists. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Recent acts of violence committed by extremists who were radicalized while living in the United States have raised concerns over the threat of home-grown terrorism. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld