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Strong Foundation

August 18, 2010
In May, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a report called, “Early Warning!: Why Reading by the end of Third Grade Matters.” This report highlighted the point that has been supported by research that readers who are not proficient by the end of third grade will continue to struggle throughout their school career.  In Saline, we are proud that according to the MEAP Assessment almost 96% of our 3rd graders are at or above the proficient level.  However, there is a back story….  First, we still have 4% below grade level.  We need to continue to provide support for these students and work diligently to intervene prior to 3rd grade.  Second, I have serious concerns that the State of Michigan standard for proficiency is too low and possibly gives a false sense to families that their child is right on track. Lastly, we know that while many of our students score proficient on the MEAP, they are capable of building even greater literacy skills.  These are skills that they will need to achieve in the rigorous academic environment of Saline Area Schools at the upper elementary and secondary levels.

Our new grade configuration can help support our focus on building a strong foundation.  Having a coordinated and consistent approach to our literacy instruction at each of our three kindergarten to third grade buildings – Harvest, Pleasant Ridge and Woodland Meadows – can strengthen our ability to make sure all students can meet appropriately high standards for reading proficiency.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Pete Kudlak permalink
    August 18, 2010 3:44 pm

    I also have concerns that proficiency level set by the State is too low. I went back over the scores in my district pairing them with 2nd grade, end of the year DRA scores. My goal was to be able to predict what level that we needed to get the students at before they left 2nd grade in order to be proficient on the 3rd grade MEAP. It turns out that if a student is able to reach a DRA of 20 at the end of second grade they will score a 300+ (proficient level) on the 3rd grade MEAP that fall. A DRA of 20 is about 3/4 of a grade level behind. It clearly creates a false sense of security in parents/community.

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