09/15/04 — School board adopts toughter promotion rules

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School board adopts toughter promotion rules

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on September 15, 2004 2:00 PM

Wayne County has adopted standards tougher than the state has for most students to move up to the next grade level.

The Board of Education voted Tuesday to require all students in grades 3-8 to score at or above Level III on their end-of-grade tests in both reading and math to be promoted. Level III, on the four-level scale, shows mastery of the subject.

Previously, the county had only made the test results a promotion requirement in grades 3, 5 and 8, as the state requires. They are called "gateway years."

But expanding the requirement to other grades is expected to focus students and staff on making sure everyone covers the basics, said Dr. Sandra McCullen, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

In recent years, students in the three "gateway years" have tested better, probably because the results have been tied to promotion, she said. "We think the policy will help with our end-of-grade testing at all grade levels."

Failing students will be able to takes tests a second and even a third time.

Should they still fail, their parents may still request they be allowed to move up. Teachers will be responsible for gathering classwork, test data and other information that would support promotion. A committee will consider waiver requests.

The school board also formally adopted a current practice. The policy now specifies that a student can only be retained once during the K-2, 3-5 and 6-8 grade spans.

The school board had planned to consider similar promotion guidelines for high school students, but those were pulled from the agenda for more study.

Several board members had problems with not giving high-school students credit for courses if they received grades lower than 69 on final exams.