Passing With Poor Reading Skills

Thousands of third graders who fail this year’s F-CAT test will be sent to summer reading camps to help them improve their skills enough to be promoted to fourth grade.

The state is already preparing parents whose children may be held back. F-CAT scores for the test given this year will be sent to parent late next month.

These fourth graders from Ventura Elementary in Osceola County all took the F-CAT last year.

Some may not have passed the F-CAT but were promoted anyway.

"Last year one in every four third graders failed the reading portion of the F-CAT test, yet only three percent or three out of one hundred were held back."

This year, state law requires that kids be held back unless re-mediation can take place over the summer. Gov. Jeb Bush says the state can no longer promote kids who can't read.

"The fact that children are reading at level one, below basic level at third grade is a leading indicator of sad education outcomes in the future and we cannot tolerate that."

Thousands of third graders will be sent to summer reading camps. The state is telling school districts to pay for the camps with money sent from last year’s budget; the problem is that some districts have already spent the money. Asst principle Stacy Burdette says success depends on cash.

"We have to make sure we have the funding for it, it's a difficult thing to pay for."

And for parents who's kids still can't read after going to summer camp, the state is launching an information campaign.

For third graders, teachers will be allowed to certify the child's performance, and they will be promoted. Still for the first time thousands of low performing readers will not be going on to the fourth grade.

F-CAT scores for the test given this year will be sent to parents late next month