CHICKASHA — Chickasha third graders showed improvement on the state's reading test from last year.
Newly-appointed Chickasha Public Schools Superintendent David Cash said 171 Chickasha third graders took the test this year, and seven are taking remedial classes this summer for receiving an unsatisfactory score.
Grand Avenue Elementary School Principal Mickey Edwards said, in contrast, 150 third graders took the test during the 2012-2013 school year and 13 of them received an unsatisfactory score.
The 13 students who received an unsatisfactory score last year may include students who qualified for exemptions, Edwards said.
Previously, there was also a modified test for special education students, he said.
"Our success on this test is directly related to the hard work of teachers, parents and students throughout the year to make sure they're properly prepared," Edwards said.
The state's Reading Sufficiency Act allows for certain students to be exempt from retention because of their scores, such as students with disabilities, English language learners and students who have been retained twice, according to the Oklahoma Department of Education.
The RSA also allows for teachers to develop a portfolio of students' work from throughout the year to indicate the student is reading at grade level if they receive an unsatisfactory score.
Oklahoma House Bill 2625, which provides that a team consisting of the parent, a teacher, their principal, and a certified reading specialist will make a collective decision about whether to hold third graders back, was recently vetoed by Governor Mary Fallin, and the Senate overrode her veto on May 20.
At the state level, 7,970 students, 15.7 percent, scored unsatisfactory this year, according to the state department of education. Most students, 64 percent, received a proficient score.
3,000 more students with disabilities took the reading portion of the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test than in the past, but the percentage of unsatisfactory scores increased by four percent, according to the OSDE.