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Nearly 13 Percent Of Third Graders "Retained" Under Read To Achieve

Nearly thirteen percent of North Carolina third-graders were either held back or went on to fourth grade this year labeled retained. That means they get 90 minutes of concentrated reading instruction every day. 

These are the results from the first year of the state’s Read to Achieve program.  

Vice Chairman of the State School Board A.L. “Buddy” Collins said those struggling students will need extra support beyond third and fourth grade.  

“As much as we’re doing on the front end, we have to be responsible for those children after grade three,” said Collins. “We’ve now identified them. We’ve now identified their deficiencies.”

In Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools the percentage of third-graders who lagged behind was considerably higher than the state average.  Eighteen percent of CMS students weren’t reading at grade level when school started this year. Gaston County Schools had the lowest percentage in the Charlotte area of third-graders either held back or going on with the retained label at nine percent.

The numbers came out as part of a report on the Read to Achieve legislation. Hundreds of teachers and principals were surveyed on the law. Most of them said they felt all the assessments that go along with the law took away from their instruction time.