Mandatory Flunking?

Should Mandatory Flunking be an answer to a problem with getting kids to read? The governor of New Mexico thinks so. She is proposing to flunk third graders that are not able to score high enough on one single specific test. I do believe in some cases failing third grade may be an option but it should not be the default option.

The proposed law is too simplistic and in its current form gives no way out of this test/requirement even for a special needs student. Parents and teachers should be the ones making this decision. The kid may have shown large improvement throughout the year so next year should do even better or the kid may just simply be a poor test taker but is able to read. If a student is at or above grade level in every other subject except reading holding the kid back is just going to hurt the student.

By Tomwsulcer (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Tomwsulcer (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Another problem is it does not give any additional funding. Will keeping a child in school one or more years longer have an economic impact? It very likely will as Oklahoma tried this a few years ago and it ended up costing millions of dollars and after they did not see any improvement they abandoned the program. Oklahoma also discovered they created a large amount of behavior problems with the students they flunked. The flunked students are also much more likely to drop out of school in high school.

Should kids have to pass a reading test to move from third to fourth grade?

By Tim

Dad to two boys living in rural farm country.

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