Nearly 79 Percent of GCS Third Graders Meet Reading Proficiency Standards

Nearly 79 percent (78.9 percent) of Guilford County Schools’ third grade students met the reading proficiency standards under North Carolina’s Read to Achieve program, compared to 79.2 percent of students in North Carolina.

The numbers were reported to State Board of Education members last week. These third graders demonstrated reading proficiency through one of the following options:

  • passing the Beginning-of-Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading assessment;
  • passing the End-of-Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading assessment;
  • passing the retest of the End-of-Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading assessment;
  • passing the Read to Achieve Alternative Test;
  • passing an alternative assessment for reading; or
  • successfully completing the reading portfolio.

Another 9.1 percent of students were exempt from third grade retention for good cause. In total, 88 percent of students were promoted to fourth grade, compared to 87.3 percent in the state.

The remaining 12 percent of GCS third-graders were retained in the third grade or placed in a transitional fourth-grade class. Students in those transitional classes receive additional reading instruction every day to continue boosting their reading skills and will be tested again later this month to monitor their growth. Those who show proficiency will be officially advanced and reclassified as a fourth-grader. Students who are still struggling will continue to receive additional help to get them on track.

The North Carolina Read to Achieve Program is a component of the Excellent Public Schools Act passed by the North Carolina General Assembly during its 2012 session. The goal of the program is to ensure that every third-grade student is reading at or above grade level by the end of the school year. Students who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade receive extra support, including reading camps, guaranteed reading time in class and intensive reading interventions so that they will be more prepared to do fourth-grade work.