Columbus City Schools employees and an army of volunteers are literally going door-to-door this week, to get students who haven’t passed the third-grade reading assessment back into school. Ohio Public Radio station WCBE's Alison Holm reports.
Despite impressive gains between administration of the state-mandated test in the fall and the spring, over 950 third-grade students failed to make the cut-off score that will let them enter the fourth grade this fall. And despite a barrage of phone calls, mailers, and take-home packets, nearly 700 students are still not registered to re-take the test this summer.
So today through Thursday, pairs of staff and volunteers will be ringing doorbells at the homes of those students. Chief Academic Officer Darryl Sanders says it’s a simple message:
“One: there’s still two opportunities for third-graders to take the state assessment,” said Sanders. “And two: we can help your child prepare for the assessment through our summer school program.”
Superintendent Dan Good says additional teachers have been called up to help with the study sessions, which are being offered at 28 elementary schools. Free breakfasts and lunches will be available for all students, and transportation will be available in some cases.
Good says it’s too soon to estimate what the final cost to the district will be. Some schools’ programs are being paid for with federal funds, and some are funded by the district.
The Ohio Achievement Assessment test will be administered July 8th. A state-approved alternate test will be conducted on July 19th. Under the provisions of the state’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee, students who fail to make the 392 cutoff score cannot enter fourth-grade in the fall.