Third graders at risk of remediation -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Third graders at risk of remediation

March 10, 2004

Albany - Georgia's state reading test may prove too big of an obstacle for tens of thousands of students. It's predicted as many as 26,000 Georgia third graders will fail the state curriculum test and that means they'll have to repeat the third grade.

This isn't reading, it's science. But, teacher Sharon Farley says reading aloud, no matter the subject, will help her student pass the upcoming Criterion Reference Competency Test or CRCT.

"This test is not written to determine just how smart they are. But, did you master what your teacher has been teaching you? Did you master what the state of Georgia expects you to have learned in third grade," said Farley.

State School Superintendent Kathy Cox expects up to 23% of third graders to fail the test which focuses on reading and math. This is the first year third graders have taken the CRCT. "Some of the questions will be recalling details, some will be main idea, others will be cause and effect and drawing conclusions. By the third grade, they really have to start putting together what they're reading and what they already know," said Farley.

She is making sure her students pass the test and third grade through practice test and specialized instruction. "This year they have A+LS, which is a new computer program. They are working on that twice a week both in reading and in math."

Dougherty County schools hired specialized teachers to work with small groups of students to improve reading skills. Free tutors are available to students before and after school with provided transportation.

"By the time you get to third grade if you're not meeting those minimum standards on that test, it's time that you stop and do something about it."

Farley closely watches her students progress on the practice CRCT, but she says the best way parents can make sure their kids pass the state required test is to grab a book, sit down and read at home.

Students who fail the test, will be offered a summer school reading program and then allowed to retake the test. If they fail the second time, they will have to repeat the third grade.

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