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Columbus City Schools helping hundreds in limbo with state exams to advance to 4th grade

School is just weeks away for the Columbus City School District and a little more than 3,800 students are going to the fourth grade, but there are hundreds of third graders who haven't gotten the state reading test scores they need to advance to the next grade.

School is just weeks away for the Columbus City School District and a little more than 3,800 students are going to the fourth grade, but there are hundreds of third graders who haven't gotten the state reading test scores they need to advance to the next grade.

"We had a little over 800 students that have not yet performed at that level but the results aren't all in. We still have 561 that took the test this summer and will get their results back on August 28th," said Dr. Dan Good, the Columbus City Schools superintendent.

The third-graders who had to re-take the exam will go back to the third-grade the first week of school because the results for the exam won't come back until the second week of school. The third graders who pass the exam will move on to the fourth grade immediately. The third graders who don't pass the exam again will remain in the third-grade.

Columbus City School officials said the high numbers aren't because students are faring worse on the state tests than their predecessors. The district said had the state kept the promotion scores the same on both the state test and the alternative assessment, it would have been at the same 91 percent promotion rate as the last two years.

"If you look at all the reading scores of third graders, we did nine percent better than we did last year. That promotable level keeps moving up each year until it's the same as the proficient level. If it were the same as it was last year and the year before, we would actually be promoting more students than we've promoted in previous years. That score moved up just a little bit and so we had some students who haven't made that gap yet," said Dr. Good.

Last year, there were around 400 students who were at risk of being held back.

Columbus City School officials say they're doing a lot to help third graders with the exam.

"We've bumped up the amount of time we do reading in the classrooms. We do family reading academies throughout the year. We had our summer boot camp where we taught reading intensively," said Dr. Good.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library just wrapped up its nine-week summer reading club. It's just one of several other programs the library has with the Columbus City School district.

A little more than 3,000 students have one last opportunity to take the summer alternative assessment before school starts.



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