The Norman Transcript

Headlines

April 1, 2013

Debate ongoing for read or fail

NORMAN — Tulsa-area principal Angie Teas grapples with a sobering fact: Nearly 40 percent of her third-grade students would have flunked last year if Oklahoma’s read-or-fail law had been in effect.

The principal of Mark Twain Elementary School in Sand Springs can count on one hand the number of third-graders retained during her seven-year career as a principal.

Last spring, 25 of her third-graders scored at the lowest level — unsatisfactory — on the statewide reading test. Next year, under Oklahoma’s Reading Sufficiency Act, students with that score will have to repeat third grade unless they get an exemption or improve to grade level by the fall.

Mark Twain Elementary has stepped up efforts to get its struggling students to read better before the law’s ultimatum kicks in. But Teas remains worried. About 15 percent of this year’s second-graders are at risk of failing in 2014.

Nearly all of Mark Twain’s students are from low-income families, which could magnify any negative effects of being retained, she said.

“We have students with parents in jail, students who are in the shelter down the street … (To those children,) who cares about reading and math if those things are going on?” Teas said.

The risks of a high rate of failure among Mark Twain’s third graders next year point to what some educators say is a worrisome part of the state’s reading act: A disproportionate share of those who fail will likely be poor children. Most could be boys.

An Oklahoma Watch analysis of state test data from 2012 found that elementary schools with higher rates of low-income students had greater shares of third graders who scored poorly on reading.

Statewide, 5,375 third graders, or 11 percent, scored last spring at the lowest level on the reading exam, according to state data. In the largest district, Oklahoma City Public Schools, 22 percent scored at the bottom; in Tulsa Public Schools, 25 percent did. More than four-fifths of students in both districts are low-income.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Chamber Banquet During annual banquet, Chamber of Commerce promotes moving Norman forward

    Amidst the backdrop of music, dancing, dinner and fellowship, business leader Mike Fowler announced that the time for a quality-of-life initiative in Norman has come. As incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce board chairman, Fowler and ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Symposium speaker Paul Polik: Commerce can help and bring millions out of poverty

    How to harness the power of commerce to address social and environmental challenges in sustainable ways was the topic of discussion at the University of Oklahoma Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth’s fourth annual Social ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Amber waves turn gray as farms lose younger generation

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Jerry Pfeiffer was thrilled when his son, Kelsey, 25, announced plans to return to the family’s farm in Orlando....

    April 18, 2014

  • Postal retiree luncheon set

    A postal retiree luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. Monday at Golden Corral Buffet and Grill, 123 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. Diners will meet in the lobby. For more information, call Joyce Carle at 872-5157....

    April 18, 2014

  • Flapjack fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will partner with the Global Outreach Team at Go Church to host a Flapjack Fundraiser on April 26. Proceeds raised will be used by team members to purchase ...

    April 18, 2014

  • OU Hornsemble goes to the movies

    The OU Hornsemble will present a concert of music from the cinema at 6 p.m. April 27 in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall. Billed as “Movie-Time Music,” the ensemble will present a wide variety of cinematic music from the 1940s to the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    DENVER — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions....

    April 18, 2014

  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

    JUBA, South Sudan — An angry mob of South Sudanese youths attacked a U.N. base on Thursday to harm members of an ethnic minority sheltering inside. Peacekeepers were forced to open fire, amid rampaging violence that killed at least 12 ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Woman bound over for trial

    A Slaughterville woman facing a manslaughter charge after the death of an 8-year-old child was bound over for trial this week after a preliminary hearing in Cleveland County District Court. Kimberly Dawn Wenthold, 29, was charged in ...

    April 18, 2014