D.C. Bill Would Assess 3rd-Graders' Readiness to Advance at 'Turning Point'

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 16, 2012 | Go to article overview

D.C. Bill Would Assess 3rd-Graders' Readiness to Advance at 'Turning Point'


Byline: Tom Howell Jr., THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A D.C. Council committee is vetting a bill Thursday that ensures third-graders are ready for fourth grade, a reflection of efforts across the country to gauge academic progress in the early years of children's education.

Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown will hear testimony on the legislation as part of a hearing before the Committee of the Whole on reforms such as early childhood education and college preparation.

Council members Vincent B. Orange, at-large Democrat, and Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, introduced the bill in November. The legislation proposes to assess the progress of students on the cusp of fourth grade after essential years of instruction in reading and mathematics from kindergarten to third grade.

This is the turning point in the curriculum, Mr. Orange said.

The bill also calls on the D.C. Public Schools chancellor to ensure that 3- and 4-year-olds are prepared for kindergarten.

The bill joins a growing list of education proposals before the council, including a bill from Mr. Brown that uses financial incentives to draw highly effective teachers to schools that need them the most.

Mr. Brown also is hearing testimony on his bills to assess students from grades four to nine and to require each high school student to take a college-entrance exam such as the SAT or ACT and apply to at least one college. …

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