Educators taking sides on 3rd grade reading test

Reading test sparks debate.
Reading test sparks debate.

CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Local educators are taking sides over the third grade reading test. There is one side that says the test is necessary to hold teachers and students accountable, but others say the test is too hard and doesn’t represent what students actually know.

Dr. Jocelyn Weeda is a Centerville City Schools teacher who has been teaching for about 20 years. She wrote an open letter to parents this month about standardized testing. Weeda thinks the tests given to the third graders’ is above their reading level.

“I don’t feel that they’re personally developmentally appropriate, especially for our youngest of kids,” said Dr. Weeda.

She says not only does she think the test is too hard for them, but the results also don’t come back in time to be helpful.

“The standardized test those results come back almost a year later now. And when they come back so late now, that means they’re not a formative assessment. That doesn’t help me intervene for that student at that time,” said Weeda. “I’m hoping that in eight months from now that they are not in the same place that they were eight months prior.”

With the 3rd grade guarantee there is a lot at stake for the students. If they don’t pass the state test they risk being held back.

David Romick is president of the Dayton Education Association. 2 News asked him if he thinks this test is necessary.

“I do think that a test to test 3rd grade reading is necessary for accountability and to improve the educational system in Ohio. Is it this test? I don’t know yet,” said Romick.

He says there isn’t enough data on the new reading test yet.

“It’s just going to be a matter of making decision based on the data we get from this, without holding kids accountable to high stakes decisions until we know we have the right test at the right level at the right place,” said Romick.

Both Weeda and Romick want what’s best for the students and would like to see the Ohio Department of Education work with teachers to come up with solution.

Here is a link to Dr. Weeda’s letter.

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