TPS to consider 'good-cause exemptions' for student promotion
BY ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Monday, January 07, 2013
1/07/13 at 8:02 AM
A change in state law meant to end "social promotion" of public school students has the Tulsa school board considering a policy revision.
Recent amendments to Oklahoma's Reading Sufficiency Act call for retaining students who are found to have reading deficiencies on state tests during the 2013-2014 academic year.
"This had to be added into district policy because of the change in state law. There are several options for remediation, but these kids who will be in third grade next year have to have that reading proficiency to meet these requirements," said Steve Mayfield, interim chief of staff at Tulsa Public Schools.
The Reading Sufficiency Act, which has undergone several amendments since being enacted by the Legislature in 1997, already mandates that all students read at or above grade level by the end of their third-grade year.
The latest amendment, sponsored by Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, and Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, is aimed at ending "social promotion," or the consideration of a child's social and psychological well-being, in addition to academics, in deciding whether to promote them to the next grade.
The policy change the Tulsa school board will be taking up at a meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Education Service Center, 3027 S. New Haven Ave., includes six "good-cause exemptions" for students who don't meet academic requirements for promotion.
Eligible students would include those with limited English proficiency who have had less than two years of English language instruction and special education students for whom state tests are not appropriate or who have received two years of intensive remedial help and were previously held back one to two years.
The proposed policy also states that students could use alternative, state-approved reading assessments or portfolios to demonstrate acceptable reading skills to receive an exemption, or have a teacher submit a request to a principal with documentation to prove promotion is appropriate.
Students may also become eligible for promotion to fourth grade if they are able to demonstrate proficiency by the end of a summer program or prior to Nov. 1 of the following academic year.
Under the proposed policy revision, each school will form a faculty committee to review and make retention and promotion decisions, which can be appealed by a parent or guardian to the principal, superintendent and, ultimately, the school board.
Original Print Headline: Law may change TPS policy
Andrea Eger 918-581-8470
Steve Mayfield: The interim chief of staff at TPS says "there are several options for remediation" but the requirements must be met.