Tuesday, 02 May 2017 06:56

Hofmeister praises passage of bill ensuring parents, teachers maintain voice in RSA Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY (May 2, 2017) – Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister praised the state House of Representatives and Senate for making parent/teacher reading teams permanent under the Oklahoma Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA). Yesterday, House Bill 1760, authored by Rep. Katie Henke and Sen. Jason Smalley, passed unanimously out of both the House and Senate and now heads to the Governor’s office for her signature.

The Reading Sufficiency Act is a backstop measure to ensure students are reading long before third grade, a transition year in which the focus of reading instruction typically becomes “reading to learn” rather than “learning to read.” Under RSA, multiple pathways exist for children to advance from third grade to fourth grade under probationary promotion and appropriate individualized remediation.

HB 1760 makes a unanimous vote of the Student Reading Proficiency Team (SRPT) a permanent pathway to probationary promotion, assuring parents are included in crucial decisions about their children. The reading teams – which consist of the child’s parent or guardian as well as a current teacher and future teacher – previously had been scheduled to dissolve at the close of the 2017-18 school year. The site principal and district superintendent must approve any SRPT probationary promotion.

“I am grateful to the Legislature for understanding the importance of ensuring continued parent engagement with high-stakes decisions for their students’ education,“ said Hofmeister. “The Student Reading Proficiency Team protects and reinforces the need for increased parent collaboration with schools and teachers, which is critical to future academic success. This is a tremendous accomplishment and the right thing to do for kids and families.”

Under RSA, third-grade students who score “Unsatisfactory” on the assessment and fail to meet an exemption are subject to retention. HB 1760 will include students who score “Limited Knowledge” for possible retention beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

HB 1760 also requires additional reporting of data to better determine the effectiveness of RSA.