Beginning in 2013-2014 school year, there are two exemptions from ARS §15-701.
In accordance with the new law, a school district or governing board or the governing body of a charter school may be allowed to promote a pupil who earns an AIMS score that falls far below the third grade level for any of the following reasons:
- English Language Learners or Limited English Proficient that have received less than two years of English instruction; and
- Students with disabilities provided that the pupil’s individualized education program (IEP) team and the pupil’s parent or guardian agree that promotion is appropriate based on the pupil’s IEP.
To read the legal exemptions: http://www.azleg.gov/ars/15/00701.htm
For students being retained, the school district governing board or the governing board of the charter school shall offer at least one of the following intervention and remedial strategies developed by the state board of education. These include:
- A requirement that the pupil be assigned to a different teacher for reading instruction
- Summer school reading instruction
- In the next academic year, intensive reading instruction that occurs before, during or after the regular school day, or any combination of before, during and after the regular school day
- Online reading instruction
Benefits of the Legislation: This law will ensure students receive the instruction they need to develop their skills in reading. It will reduce the need for remedial education in later grades. Research shows us that students who cannot read are more likely to drop out of school. This intensive instruction helps prevent future school failure. Ensuring every student becomes a reader will contribute to Arizona’s economy by developing a skilled workforce and individuals who are prepared for higher education.
• Shift the balance to 50 percent informational texts and 50 percent literature in elementary grades
• Importance of balance in preparing for later grades and non-literary texts