Quolke's Corner #147

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QUOLKE’S CORNER # 147

THIRD GRADE GUARANTEE

During the Ohio General Assembly’s lame duck session at the end of 2012 – HB 555 was passed.  This law has many implications for educators throughout the state.  One of those components is the 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee.  I know you have seen summaries of the Guarantee language including the provision that students in grade 3 will be retained if they do not “attain the appropriate level of reading competency by the end of grade 3.”  Prior to grade 3 the legislation requires intervention in K, 1, and 2 for students in those grades that are “not on-track”.

This legislation has also gone on to determine the criteria for teachers of grade 3 starting in the 2013-2014 school year and for teachers of K-3 starting in the 2014-2015 school year.  If you are not familiar with the requirements for teachers, I have included them at the end of this update. 

I know that a number of members are ready to take classes, take the test, do what they need to do in order to continue to work with the students that need them the most. 

A Third Grade Guarantee Committee has been working to sift through these policy changes and provide teachers with the opportunities that they need in order to meet the requirements of the state law.  Local universities like Cleveland State, John Carroll, and Akron are creating cohorts and working to provide a program that can be completed in time for the 2014-2015 school year.  However, I am asking everyone to not panic and be patient.

First, SB 21 was passed in the Senate on Wednesday, February 27.  It now goes to the House and if passed these changes will impact the requirements for teachers under the Guarantee.  Second, there are a number universities trying to develop programs to meet the criteria of the law.  ODE has to approve these programs, and I do not want to see teachers jumping into the wrong program. 

I want to share part of an email that I received from OFT President, Melissa Cropper:

The amended language around the 3rd Grade Guarantee makes it easier for teachers to demonstrate competency to work with those K-3 students on an intervention/monitoring plan or being retained. SB 21 has removed the requirement that a teacher have spent the previous three years successfully delivering reading instruction before working with students needing this extra help. In addition it makes other changes in the criteria for qualifying as a teacher to provide services under the third-grade reading guarantee. The bill prescribes that if a teacher is "an effective reading instructor, as determined by criteria established by the Department," that teacher may provide reading guarantee services for the 2013-2014 school year and beyond. It also strikes the following language from HB 555: Value added rating, hold a reading endorsement, and requiring a passing score on assessment for endorsement . These changes create much more flexibility for teachers and districts to ensure a qualified teacher is working with K-3 students who need extra reading help.

Further, the Ohio Department of Education has not yet produced the criteria referenced above. Vendors and institutions of higher ed are beginning to market programs that are designed to help teachers qualify to be K-3 reading instructors; however, we caution you not to sign up for any programs, particularly those modified from what is currently accepted as a reading endorsement program, until the list and guidance have been finalized. It is important not to spend your time and money until you are certain the program will meet the state requirement.

The Third Grade Guarantee Committee is working to sift through all of this and provide everyone with valuable options – soon.  As soon as ODE finalizes its criteria and SB moves through the House.

Also, I hope that you have seen the email regarding the Race to the Top sponsored Reading Endorsement Cohort.  Here is part of that email:

This is a very intensive schedule for getting the Reading Endorsement and it will be a competitive process to be a part of the cohort. There will be MANDATORY meetings at the times and places below. If you are interested in this program you MUST attend ONE of these sessions.

Mandatory Meeting Date/Location/Time

Monday, March 18, 2013 Garrett Morgan Early Session: 3:00 to 4:00 pm Late Session: 4:30 to 5:50 pm

Thursday, March 21, 2013 East Tech Early Session: 3:00 to 4:00 pm Late Session: 4:30 to 5:50 pm

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jillian Ahrens, Karen Thompson, or Bill Badders at baddersb@roadrunner.com

Anyone interested must turn in an interest form to Bill Badders by March 12

Of course, prior to taking any courses we will make sure that it is approved by ODE.

I know that people are anxious about the law and its implications.  A little patience is needed as amendments to this law make their way through the House and the ODE works on the regulations behind the law.  We will get information to you as soon as we get it.

In Union,

David

 

The credentials are listed below (and were taken from the ODE):

Credential Options

 

2013-14

*For third grade only

1. A reading endorsement (K-12) on their teacher’s license and a passing score on the corresponding assessment for that endorsement;

2. A master’s degree with the word “reading” or “literacy” in the degree name or on the transcript as the major area of study, specialization, or concentration;

3. A rating of “above value-added” for the last two school years; or

4. A credential from a program on the ODE approved list of scientifically research-based reading instruction programs, to be released in spring 2013.

2014-15 and Beyond

*For grades K-3

1. A reading endorsement (K-12) on their teacher’s license and a passing score on the corresponding assessment for that endorsement;

2. A master’s degree with the word “reading” or “literacy” in the degree name or on the transcript as the major area of study, specialization, or concentration;

3. A rating of “above value-added” for the last two school years; or

4. A passing score on a rigorous test of principles of scientifically research-based reading instruction, to be approved by the State Board of Education in fall 2013.