As many as 4,000 third-graders across South Carolina could be held back a grade next year after they failed a newly-required reading test.
The Post and Courier reports the new requirement is an effort to catch reading problems before they become worse as students progress through the grades.
While the “Read to Succeed Act” was approved by legislators and signed by then-Gov. Nikki Haley in 2014, it gradually phased in the past three years. For the first time this year, third-graders who have the lowest score on the SC Ready reading test will have to take additional prep work to advance to fourth grade.
Students will have the opportunity to move on if they attend a five-week summer reading camps and if they pass a literacy portfolio or test at the end of the camp. At the camps students get two recesses a day and they take part in some other activities.
School districts can invite any students to the reading camps who might be in need of help.
South Carolina ranks 47th in the country this year on the fourth-grade reading portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) a nationally standardized test known as the Nation’s Report Card.