South Carolina to Tie Fourth Grade Promotion to Reading Scores

Under a new South Carolina law, third graders who fail a state-administered standardized reading exam will be held back starting in 2018. The policy is part of the state's new Read to Succeed Act.

What's the Latest?


South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley this week signed into law a new set of reading standards that will determine if students can be promoted to fourth grade.

From Education Week:

"That requirement is part of the Read to Succeed Act, which aims to improve reading levels across the state. The new retention policy for 3rd graders includes exemptions for English-learners, students with disabilities, and those who have been previously retained, among others, and requires that students who are retained receive intensive reading support."

The new law, supported by a bi-partisan contingent, was drafted after the state's fourth graders ranked 42nd in reading skills. The southern state made education headlines earlier this year when it decided to dump Common Core in favor of its own standards.

What's the Big Idea?

The new law also augments the state's 4K program, an expansion of Kindergarten for 4-year-olds for which state Democrats have long fought. Linking advanced reading standards to the 4K expansion represents a refreshing brand of across-the-aisle deal brokering often unseen in divisive legislatures. What remains to be realized is whether the new reading standards will lead to unforeseen issues in the future. Although exemptions exist for English-learners and students with disabilities, there is not yet any word on if a safety net exists for kids who may somehow bomb the test despite apt reading skills.

Read more at Education Week

Photo credit: Kinga / Shutterstock

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less

Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap
popular

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less