I've been kind of back and forth on this third-grade reading sufficiency test thousands of little ones took about a month ago, a test that would determine if they read well enough to move on to fourth-grade or should be held back.
Yesterday, the legislature essentially overturned the program if the Governor agrees, putting the decision back in the hands of teachers and parents.
I talked to two public school reading specialists tonight who told me the third-grade "pass or flunk" test is a bad idea, and it can stigmatize those eight and nine year olds who fail the test for life.
One of them told me you can tell by first grade whether a student gets it or not, or needs a little more time and maturity to start putting their reading skills together.
The other told me the best way to educate our young readers is to test them at the beginning of the school year and then at the end of the year and see if there's adequate progress.
Some kids who fail the third-grade test might be on the verge of really taking off with their reading in fourth-grade, but because they're retained, they see themselves forever as classroom failures.
After talking with these two reading teachers I agree that we need to have standards, but "one size fits all" isn't the most effective way to do it.