McCrory signs bill changing reading requirements

Posted June 11, 2014
Updated June 12, 2014

Third-graders must prove reading ability under new law

— Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday signed legislation intended to improve the Read to Achieve program in North Carolina elementary schools.

“This legislation improves the implementation of Read to Achieve and the A-F grading process,” McCrory said in a statement. “I would like to thank the General Assembly for listening to the feedback of parents, educators and policy advisers across the state.”

The 2012 Read to Achieve law requires 36 tests to assess whether third-graders are up to grade level in reading comprehension. Those who aren't must either attend a six-week reading camp over the summer or repeat the third grade.

Since its implementation, however, teachers, parents and school administrators have complained that the law is overly strict and requires too much testing – three tests for each of 12 reading standards, all administered in the second half of the school year.

The new measure, which lawmakers approved despite reservations that it doesn't go far enough, gives school districts more flexibility in the summer reading camps, allows alternative assessments and spreads the testing throughout the third-grade year.


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  • Jump1 Jun 12, 2014

    He change it so no student have to read just show pictures.

  • Terry Watts Jun 11, 2014
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    To your first point, increasing the salary to a individual may or may not make that individual more efficient. However, just like in private industry, higher salaries attract the best candidates for that position. States that have higher salaries have a greater chance of having better teachers in their system than one that does not pay as high of salary. That leaves the less desirable teachers vying for lower-paying positions. Its simple economics, really.

    To your second point, again increased spending per student may or may not increase individual test results. Various States have various "cultures" that can contribute to the educational well-being of students, Utah and DC for example. But in general you will find that States that spend more have higher test scores among their students.

  • for the people Jun 11, 2014

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    so by your argument, more money would make teachers be better at teaching reading? so they don't try as hard now as they should? i personally don't believe that. i am married to a teacher that goes in everyday to do her best.
    please explain how more money for teachers is going to help kids read. please be specific.

    also, please explain why states that have the highest money spent per pupil are not at the top of high school graduation rates. thank you

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Jun 11, 2014

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    Teachers care about educating children, but they can care just as much (and focus on it more) in another state where they are appreciated and better compensated.

  • Terry Watts Jun 11, 2014
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    8 "I"s in 4 sentences... Narcissism??? This isn't about you and your life experience. Its about educating children effectively. If we as a State aren't willing to pay competitive salaries to teachers, we should expect that our children will not be competitive after graduation. YMMV...

  • lasm Jun 11, 2014

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    I thought the teachers really CARED about the students. I thought they became a teacher because they care and love educating kids. I have NEVER left a job for another one for MONEY. I even work at a job now where I make less than I have made since the 70's-because I like the company AND the job.

  • juliomercado Jun 11, 2014

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    How willing are the GOP senators willing to fight for this? Also, was the senate budget a decoy to make folks pay attention so that Tom Tillis could ride in on a white horse and save the day? Just in time for the general election? Hmmm. If its the latter I don't blame the GOP for the dramatics but I wonder if they realize more teachers than ever are STILL planning on leaving NC?

  • Terry Watts Jun 11, 2014
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    Pre-K teaches kids to read at the Pre-K level, not the third grade level...

  • Terry Watts Jun 11, 2014
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    Just to remind folks, the current NC Senate Budget Proposal would further cut Teacher Assistants, specifically those in the 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms.

  • Confucius say Jun 11, 2014

    I thought the Pre-K program was supposed to fix all of this. Or do they not work on reading in daycare?