third grade reading

Gov. Mary Fallin reads to children on the lawn of the governor's mansion in Oklahoma City in September 2012.
Governor Mary Fallin / Facebook

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a slew of education-related bills Wednesday. The five new laws are aimed at improving education in Oklahoma.

Potentially the most controversial of the laws is Senate Bill 630, which deals with the third grade reading test. The law allows reading teams to promote a child to the fourth grade on a probationary basis despite a low score on their test. If it hadn’t passed, students who scored low on the test, and did not meet an exemption, would have automatically been held back.  

child reading
John Morgan / Flickr Creative Commons

Members of the Senate Education Committee looked into various aspects of the Reading Sufficiency Act including its impact on English language learners and students on an individualized education plan Wednesday during a combination of legislative studies.

Oklahoma State Department of Education / Facebook

More than 500 Oklahoma City third-graders who failed a state reading test will be promoted to fourth grade after receiving exemptions.

Oklahoma City Public Schools officials announced Tuesday that the exemptions were granted for various reasons, including learning disabilities, English as a second language or satisfactory performance on an alternate test.

Oklahoma House of Representatives

Gov. Mary Fallin's veto to changes in Oklahoma's third grade reading retention law was short-lived Wednesday.

Both the House and Senate voted to override the veto, a move that paves the way for parents to work with teams of teachers and reading specialists to determine if their child will advance to fourth grade if they failed the third grade reading test.

Reaction of the override quickly flooded Twitter:

bungasagadua /

A bill that makes it easier for children to advance to the fourth grade even if they may not be reading at grade level will become law despite the governor's veto.

The Republican-controlled House and Senate both voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to override Fallin's veto. The House voted 79-17, while the Senate voted 45-2. The override required a three-fourth's vote of both chambers.

Carissa Rogers /

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for school districts to promote third graders who may not be reading at grade level.

Fallin vetoed the bill on Tuesday, saying that allowing students who can't read to advance to the fourth grade is "setting that child up for failure."

State Rep. Katie Henke (R-Tulsa) speaking during a press conference after the May 12 House vote.
Nate Robson / Oklahoma Watch

A group of Oklahoma parents concerned about new reading requirements that third graders must meet in order to advance to the fourth grade are urging Gov. Mary Fallin to sign a bill making it easier to promote students.

The Parent Legislative Action Committee of Central Oklahoma delivered a petition to the governor on Monday with more than 2,000 signatures.

The group supports the bill that would make changes to the Reading Sufficiency Act, which was part of a Republican-led agenda to increase the rigor in Oklahoma schools.

Mark Twain Elementary second grade teacher Elizabeth Clarke staples together work from two of her second-grade students in this 2013 photo.
Chase Cook / Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma City School District is launching new programs to help third-grade students after state assessments showed low scores in reading.  

Test scores released last week found that 27 percent of Oklahoma City public school third-graders scored unsatisfactory on the state reading test. Students could be held back unless they receive an exemption or get higher scores when they retake the tests.

State Rep. Katie Henke (R-Tulsa) speaking during a press conference after the May 12 House vote.
Nate Robson / Oklahoma Watch

Three days after it was announced that nearly 8,000 Oklahoma students are at risk of repeating the third grade for failing the state’s reading test, lawmakers voted to change the state’s retention requirements.

child reading
John Morgan / Flickr Creative Commons

A bill that would offer more flexibility to school districts to promote third graders who may not be reading at grade level has cleared a Senate committee.

The Senate Education Committee voted 11-0 on Monday for the bill, which included several amendments by state Sen. Clark Jolley (R-Edmond)