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Brittany Halpin

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Ohio Department of Education Press Releases

Third Grade Reading Guarantee Helping Ohio’s Students Succeed

Release date: 3/24/2016

Ohio continues to raise the bar for student achievement, and even with higher expectations, 94.1 percent of the state’s eligible third graders met or exceeded the promotion score in reading to move to the fourth grade. The results of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee were released today as part of K-3 Literacy on the 2014-2015 Ohio School Report Cards, which can be found on our website and at

“The Third Grade Reading Guarantee is already achieving its main goal—getting extra help for students who need it,” said Dr. Lonny J. Rivera, interim state superintendent of public instruction. “Ohio’s schools are stepping up to the plate by adding instructional time, partnering with local libraries and utilizing community volunteers to provide tutoring. This is the groundwork needed to ensure all students are ready for college and careers."

The state used the Ohio Achievement Assessment and the promotion score was raised from 392 to 394, moving toward a proficient level of 400. Ohio will continue to raise the promotion score towards the proficient level.

Even with higher expectations, a number of districts saw the percentage of students who met or exceeded the promotion score rise, including 99.7 percent of Akron City Schools’ third graders meeting the promotion threshold, up from 98.7 percent in 2013-2014. Lorain City Schools saw its district promotion rate rise from 92.4 percent in 2013-2014 to 93.4 percent.

New research shows that students reading proficiently by the end of third grade are five times more successful at achieving college and career readiness as their non-proficient peers. This goes hand-in-hand with previous research that showed 37 percent of third graders not reading proficiently by the end of the school year did not graduate from high school on time.

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee aims to ensure all students are reading at grade level by the end of third grade. The guarantee drives attention to students from kindergarten to third grade who are struggling readers and makes sure they get the help they need to succeed in reading. Through this initiative, school districts and community schools diagnose reading issues, create individualized Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans and provide intensive reading interventions.

Ohio has raised expectations for what its students must learn in the classroom, introducing rigorous learning standards and new state tests to match those standards. The Third Grade Reading Guarantee is calculated using both the third grade reading state test and the approved alternative assessments. Students who are exempt from retention (students with disabilities on IEPs, English language learners, those previously retained) are not included in the calculation.