Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee says that starting with students entering third grade in 2013-14, schools cannot promote to fourth grade students who score below a certain level on the state reading test. That level is slightly below the actual passing score on the state reading test, the Ohio Achievement Assessment.
Exceptions apply to students who are learning English and in special education programs and to students who have been behind in reading in past years, have been held back before and have received extra help. Students can also be promoted if they pass a state-approved alternate reading test.
For the 2012-13 school year, a gentler version of the third grade reading guarantee is in effect.
In 2012-13, schools can still promote students who don’t pass the third grade reading test if the principal and student’s reading teacher agree that the student is prepared academically for fourth grade. They can also promote students who don’t pass the third grade reading test if the school provides extra help with reading in fourth grade.
Ohio’s third grade reading guarantee was part of a package of education policy backed by Gov. John Kasich and approved by state lawmakers in spring 2012 as part of Senate Bil 316.