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Ohio Joins Ranks of States With 3rd Grade Retention Law

Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio signed a measure yesterday that calls for holding back 3rd graders who fail to demonstrate sufficient reading ability on a state standardized test. In doing so, Ohio joins a number of states that recently adopted such policies.

Apparently, Gov. Kasich in the end agreed to a compromise with a key lawmaker that makes the level of reading proficiency to be demonstrated less stringent than he had proposed, but it will increase over time, reports The Plain Dealer of Cleveland. As the story explains, the bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Peggy Lehner, "opted for a lower threshold that gradually steps up the level of reading required for a child to be promoted as other safeguards are put in place, such as improved teaching standards, more reading intervention and summer programs.

Several states, including Arizona, Indiana, and Oklahoma, recently approved new 3rd grade retention policies tied to achievement on standardized tests. All the plans appear to take a page from the playbook in Florida, where a policy to end the social promotion of 3rd graders was enacted under former Gov. Jeb Bush.

For a closer look at these developments, as well as the broader debate over retention policies, check out this EdWeek story.

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