Lessons from Florida's Third Grade Reading Retention Policy and Implications for Arizona

Author: Helios Education Foundation

Posted on: October 22, 2014

It is generally accepted that third grade is a critical pivot point for reading proficiency.  More than a decade ago, Florida led the nation in implementing a policy that required that struggling readers be retained in the third grade and provided intensive remediation.  The policy also included provisions obligating school districts to provide retained students with extra reading supports such as 90 minutes daily of reading instruction and assignment to a “high-performing teacher” in the retention year.  Many states, including Arizona, took Florida’s example and implemented third grade retention policies.    

As a Foundation engaged in both Arizona and Florida, Helios looked at Florida’s policy in light of Arizona’s recent adoption of the Move On When Reading legislation. In this brief, we provide an overview of the two policies, take a look at relevant data on student reading proficiency and identify the lessons learned from Florida that could inform the effectiveness of the Arizona policy.   

Click here to read and download the report.

Category: Areas of Focus, Early Grade Success

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