In this information age, acquiring the ability to read and write proficiently is both necessary and crucial for a student’s academic success. It is essential that K-3 students have full access to effective, strategic and purposeful reading and writing instruction using strategies that have been proven to be successful with research and evidence.
Arizona State Statute 15-704 requires school districts and charters to provide effective reading instruction, with initial screening; on-going diagnostic and classroom based reading assessments, and a system to monitor student progress.
Arizona’s revised statute 15-211 requires all school districts and charters with a K-3 program to submit a comprehensive plan for reading instruction and intervention across grade kindergarten through grade three. State funding is provided to schools to support the implementation of their K-3 reading plan. The goal is to have all grade three students in Arizona reading proficiently at grade level.
Arizona Revised Statute 15 – 701 states that if data on the third grade statewide reading assessment is available and demonstrates that a student scored “falls far below” the student shall not be promoted from the third grade. There are three exemptions in Arizona Revised Statute 15-701. In accordance with the new law, a school district governing board or the governing body of a charter school is allowed to promote a student who earns a score of “falls far below” on the third grade statewide reading assessment only for the following reasons:
- The student is an English Language Learner or Limited English Proficient who has received less than two years of English instruction; or
- A student with disabilities has an individualized education plan(IEP), and the IEP-team, which includes the student’s parent/guardian, agrees that promotion is appropriate
- A student is in the process of a special education referral or evaluation for placement in special education and/or a student who has been diagnosed as having a significant reading impairment, including dyslexia.
An Important Note for Educators and Parents:
- The AzMerit exam was given for the first time in the spring of the 2014-2015 school year. As with the first administration of any statewide assessment, it takes much longer for schools to receive student scores because of the standard setting process. This means that the Move On When Reading law was not used to make retention decisions for the 2015-2016 school year.
- Once the spring 2015 AzMerit scores are available, schools must provide intervention for students who were promoted to 4th grade and received a score equivalent to the “Falls Far Below” or FFB level on the previous statewide AIMS assessment on the reading portion of the spring 2015 AzMerit exam.
2015 Legislative Changes (SB 1461) Effective July 3rd, 2015
SB1461 was signed into law by the Governor and will become effective on July 3rd, 2015. SB1461 amends the MOWR law by expanding the list of students exempt from the retention requirement to include students in the process of a special education referral or evaluation for placement in special education and/or students that have been diagnosed as having a significant reading impairment, including dyslexia. The bill defines “dyslexia” as a brain-based learning difference that impairs a person’s ability to read and spell, that is independent of intelligence and that typically causes a person to read at levels lower than expected.
Additionally SB1461 requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules to allow certificated teachers and administrators to count training for the screening, intervention, accommodation, use of technology and advocacy for students with reading impairments towards continuing education credits.
Gifts, Grants, and Donations for the K-3 Reading Program
Arizona revised statute 15-211 also states that the Department of Education shall solicit gifts, grants and donations from any lawful public or private source in order to provide additional funding for the K-3 reading program. Previously the department has received donations of time and resources from its partner, Read On Arizona.
Any legal private or public source that would like to donate to this program may contact the Arizona Department of Education, contact Carol Lippert at 602-364-1985.
|The best reading support you can give your child is to read daily, nightly and always to your child. A suggested 20 minutes a day is great, more is even better, and research has shown that reading to your child in their home language is just as beneficial as the second language they are trying to learn!!|
|So READ, READ and READ some more with your child!!|