State law ups reading requirements, could keep third graders fro


State law ups reading requirements, could keep third graders from advancing to fourth grade

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YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – A 2010 state law may mean that an estimated 1,500 third graders across Arizona will not pass to fourth grade for not meeting required reading levels.

The law is set to go into effect at the end of this year.

State superintendent of public instruction John Huppenthal says third grade is the ‘make or break' year for students because those who can't read by the time they enter fourth grade start to disengage.

We spoke to Superintendent Dr. Darwin Stiffler of the Yuma Elementary School District about how it will impact some students in Yuma.

He says that students' early curriculum before third grade teaches them basic skills to read. If those skills aren't solid by the time they advance to fourth grade, they will struggle later on.

"It's about two percent of the kids that we're really worried about and working intensely," Dr. Stiffler said.

"And we won't know for sure until we get to the end of the year. We have all year to get them up to speed."

The 2010 law exempts English-language learners and students in reading and language special education programs.

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