What does grade-level mean anyway?

Talk radio discussion topic from this evening’s drive:

Some school district is setting goals to increase reading proficiency for students from X% of students reading at their grade level to Y%.

The discussion was about the different goals set for different races and how that sends the message that it’s okay to underachieve to folks from races with lower goals.

However, that’s not what I’m writing about. I was more concerned with obvious oversight.

In the old days, to move up to the next grade you had to demonstrate your mastery of various things expected at that grade, including reading at grade level.

If you couldn’t demonstrate sufficient mastery of your grade-level expectations, you were held back. That was a darn good motivator for students and their parents to try hard.

In one population cited on the radio, 38% of that group could read at grade-level.The easy way to fix that is to hold the 62% who are not reading a grade level back until they are.

2 thoughts on “What does grade-level mean anyway?

  1. This is an easy problem to fix by simply redefining “grade level.” OK, that was a joke. On a serious note, this is just one more example of relativism run amok. Absolutes exist and are necessary for a civilization to maintain itself. Even agnostic/atheist conservatives generally acknowledge that the US has succeeded largely because of our Judeo-Christian heritage and that is one based on certain moral absolutes. Standards should be set for grade advancement and they should be set by local school boards not by the federal government. When the feds get involved, grade advancement becomes more a game of disguising the fact that certain groups and individuals either cannot or will not keep up. As a result, the dumb hold down those who could and would otherwise achieve great things. IMHO school boards would be wise to set an absolute and tough standard for advancement from one grade to the next. It serves no good long-term purpose to set easy standards or pass kids who haven’t mastered the materials only to have the child discover as an adult that the last 12 years were wasted or to have employers realize that they’re better off hiring those who graduated from a school that did set standards.

  2. Pingback: Guest Post: Take Aim and Target Your Children’s Writing by Valerie Allen « Carte Blanche by Amelia Curzon


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