95% of Ohio 3rd-graders pass reading standards

Most local districts scored above state level

More than 95 percent of affected third-graders met Ohio’s new reading test standards last year, qualifying them to be promoted to fourth grade this year, according to full school district data released Wednesday afternoon by the Ohio Department of Education.

ODE officials said the 95.8 percent passage rate is a significant increase from the previous year’s 88.2 percent level. In the Greater Dayton area, 45 of 52 public school districts exceeded the 95.8 percent state passage rate. The results are tied to Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee program.

“We still have work to do, but we can see that the guarantee has been effective,” said Richard Ross, state school superintendent. “I’m proud that our teachers, parents, students and communities worked harder than ever to bring struggling readers up to speed. While these are great results, we need to continue to focus on the approximately 5,000 boys and girls who didn’t meet the threshold last year.”

Locally, 21 mostly smaller school districts saw every nonexempt student meet the state reading standard. The largest districts in that group were Troy, Vandalia-Butler, Tipp City and Oakwood. Another 22 districts, including many larger suburbs — Springboro, Miamisburg, Northmont, Kettering, Beavercreek, Centerville and Xenia – had more than 98 percent of affected students meet the reading test standard.

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee, which took effect last year, requires Ohio schools to provide intervention for struggling readers starting in kindergarten. Students who are still behind by the end of their third-grade year, as measured on state tests, must remain in third grade, at least in reading class, to improve those skills.

Just over five percent of students statewide were exempt from being retained – certain special education students, English as a Second Language students, and those who had been held back a grade previously.

Three local districts had less than 90 percent of nonexempt students pass the reading test, putting them in the bottom 4 percent of school districts statewide – Dayton (83.6 percent passage), Northridge (85.7) and Trotwood-Madison (86.2).

Among Montgomery County charter schools, DECA Prep and Horizon Science Academy-Dayton were the highest performers, with more than 96 percent of their nonexempt students meeting the state reading standard. Pathway School of Discovery and Miami Valley Academies each saw more than 92 percent of their students pass.

Five charter schools scored below all local public school districts, according to the state-released data – Emerson Academy (79.2 percent passage), STEAM Academy (70.0), Klepinger Community School (67.3), CityDay Community School (50.0) and Dayton Leadership Academies (47.6).

School districts are required to provide retained students with 90 minutes of daily reading instruction from a high-performing reading teacher. ODE officials said they expect many of the retained third-graders to be promoted fourth grade during this school year under a mid-year promotion provision written into the law.

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