North Carolina parents call for end to test based retention program

North Carolina Parents call on General Assembly to end Read to Achieve



Pamela Grundy, Mecklenburg,, 704-806-0410

Janna Robertson, UNC-Wilmington Dropout Prevention Coalition,, 910-777-1930

Ilina Ewen, third-grade parent, Raleigh,, 919-632-2915, Fix Read to Achieve Now and a coalition of concerned North Carolina parents call on our fellow parents across the state to urge their state representatives to end the disastrous Read to Achieve program, and to invest instead in more efficient and effective strategies for improving reading skills, such as prekindergarten and additional assistance in earlier grades.

We all share the goal of having all of North Carolina’s children read well by the end of third grade. But the Read to Achieve legislation focuses on two highly problematic strategies: student retention and the use of standardized test scores to make high-stakes decisions for individual students. Research makes clear that both of these strategies do more harm than good.

The focus on high-stakes testing and punitive consequences have forced third grade classes across the state into a morale-killing focus on stressful test prep. It has also saddled districts with a set of badly-planned and underfunded mandates that will do little to provide struggling readers with the kind of help they need. While some of these problems have been magnified by the hasty passage and rocky implementation of Read to Achieve, they are rooted in the law’s fundamental flaws

Legislators have suggested that they plan to modify Read to Achieve to exempt more special needs students from the law’s requirements. This is not sufficient. No child should be judged solely by a test score, and no child should be retained because of the mandate of a top-down state program that does not consider individual circumstances.

Our North Carolina legislators should not be using problematic strategies copied from other states to micromanage North Carolina’s schools and students. Our children deserve better. Read to Achieve needs to go.

Information about the campaign and how to contact legislators can be found on the websites of and Fix Read to Achieve Now ( For this to become a statewide movement, however, parents need to be sharing this information in their own communities Anyone interested in helping spread the word should contact



An account of the problems with Read to Achieve can be found at:

A summary of the problems with retention can be found at: Retention.pdf

A summary of the problems with test-based retention programs can be found at:

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Misc

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