Understanding Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee

Full Report: Understanding Ohio’s New Third Grade Reading Guarantee Law

Press Release: Understanding Ohio’s New Third Grade Reading Guarantee

Data Supplement: More Information about Your School District or School

Ohio’s new Third Grade Reading Guarantee law requires third graders in public schools – both district and charter – to achieve a specified score on the state reading test in order to advance to the fourth grade. To provide community leaders with meaningful information about the 5,500 third graders in Columbus district and public charter schools, KidsOhio.org has prepared the report, Understanding Ohio’s New Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

The report provides the rates of third graders scoring at each of the five performance levels on the fall 2013 test in every Franklin County school district, in each of the Ohio Urban 8 school districts, in 74 Columbus City Schools, and in the 39 Columbus-based brick and mortar charter schools. For context, the report also provides the rates of economically disadvantaged third graders, students learning English as a second language and students with disabilities.

The report found:

  • While more than 42 percent of Columbus third graders scored high enough on the October 2013 reading test to be promoted to fourth grade next fall, 58 percent have up to two more chances this spring or summer to score high enough to be promoted.
  • More than 20 percent of Columbus City Schools third graders scored at the two highest of the five performance levels, but more than 49 percent scored at the lowest level.
  • Among the 16 Franklin County school districts, Columbus City Schools had a higher rate of students scoring at the top performance level than Whitehall. However, that rate was lower than each of the county’s 14 other school districts.
  • Among third graders in Columbus-based public charter schools, over 18 percent scored at the highest two performance levels while 47 percent scored at the lowest level. The report also includes a sample reading passage and test questions, answers to frequently asked questions about the new Third Grade Reading Guarantee law and interviews with Columbus City Schools and public charter school leaders about what they are doing to help students improve their reading skills.