Tulsa Public Schools: 33 Percent Of District 3rd Graders Fail Reading Test

Friday, May 9th 2014, 12:06 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The Oklahoma Department of Education says about 80 percent of Oklahoma third-graders are eligible to be promoted to fourth grade based on the state's reading test scores.

Statewide, 7,917 third graders or 16 percent failed the test.

Tulsa Public Schools says 33 percent of the district's third graders, 763, failed the reading test required for promotion. That's twice the statewide average.

The news has a lot of implications, but the biggest one is that a third of Tulsa's third graders can't read on grade level.

See Third-Grade Reading Scores By District

All of those students will have to get additional teaching over the summer to get up to speed. If they can't, they'll repeat the third grade -- and that's so many students it could really cause upheaval in the schools which a much larger class of third-graders next year than usual.

The district got the results at 10 a.m. Friday and is working on relaying the information to schools and ultimately, to parents. In Tulsa, that may not happen in one day.

See Third-Grade Reading Scores By Tulsa School Campus

Jenks said 69 out of 774 third graders who took the test scored unsatisfactory.

Broken Arrow says it will release the information over the next couple of weeks.

There is a bill pending in the legislature to take the teeth out of the law requiring kids to be held back. Its future is uncertain.

In a news release, ODE officials said the students who failed will have two additional opportunities to demonstrate basic reading skills through a student portfolio or an alternative reading assessment provided for under the Reading Sufficiency Act.

5/6/2014 Related Story: Oklahoma Schools To Get Testing Results Back Friday

Officials said statewide, scores for the third-grade reading Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test (OCCT) were as follows:

  •   1,120 — or 2.2 percent — scored Advanced
  •   32,531 — or 64 percent — scored Proficient
  •   7,070 — or 13.9 percent — scored Limited Knowledge
  •   7,970 — or 15.7 percent — scored Unsatisfactory

Four percent did not take the test for various reasons.

Third graders who score unsatisfactory on state tests and benchmark assessments are reading at about a first-grade level or below, officials say.

Third grade is a milestone because it's where instruction really turns from teaching children to read to having children read to learn.