Oklahoma Legislature Loosens Third-Grade Reading Mandate

Published May 29, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY—It took just about 24 hours for both houses of the state legislature to override Gov. Mary Fallin’s veto of a bill to loosen the state’s new third-grade reading test requirement.

The override rolls back state literacy requirements passed during the past two decades in efforts to reverse “social promotion.”

State Rep. Katie Henke (R-Tulsa) said House Bill 2625 “empowers parents and educators to make individualized decisions for Oklahoma students.”

Fallin opposed HB 2625 because, she said, testing data found 16 percent of Oklahoma third-graders could not read at grade level this past school year. Nearly one-third of the students failed the reading test in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the two largest public school districts.

“These children will now be asked to do more difficult coursework, and to do so with very limited reading skills,” Fallin said in a statement. “We are setting these children up for failure. We are asking them to succeed when we have not given them the skills they need to do so.”

Article reprinted with permissionImage by mosaic36.