A new reading test that requires third-graders to read on grade level in order to advance to the fourth grade has some educators concerned. The new state law that is scheduled to take effect during the 2021-2022 school year and educators fear that it will result in thousands of students with disabilities and English language learners to be held back. The law also requires schools and districts to provide extra support to students not reading on grade level, beginning in kindergarten with reading interventions and summer camps-which do not come with state funding yet.
Some superintendents feel that this reading test will cause students and teachers to be rushed. According to Jacksonville State University Education Dean Tommy Turner, “it will likely take 10 to 12 years to see all the outcomes related to improving students’ ability to read, which includes things beyond test scores.”