Iowa's third-grade reading and retention law, starting in 2017, will require any student deemed “substantially deficient” in reading at the end of third grade to attend a summer program or repeat third grade.
Schools were required to give students new tests in reading last school year in the fall, winter and spring. The tests are given to students in kindergarten through third grade.
The new tests don't measure all of the same things as the Iowa Assessments, but they're meant to be good predictors of how students will do on those larger exams, said Michelle Hosp, the former director of the Iowa Reading Research Center.
Schools could choose from a list of state-approved tests to fulfill the requirement. One test, called FAST, is supported by the state and used by most schools. The FAST test has two parts — one measuring fluency and the other measuring vocabulary, comprehension and word recognition. Schools can choose which part their “substantially deficient” designations are based on.
The following are samples from the third-grade FAST test.
Pick up the Sunday print edition of The Gazette for more on this story.