McCrory signs bill changing reading requirements

Posted June 11, 2014 12:01 p.m. EDT
Updated June 12, 2014 4:02 p.m. EDT

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.