Texas: Prepare for Success - A Parent Guide to The Student Success Initiative at Grade 3
The Student Success Initiative
State Law Requirements
The Student Success Initiative was created by the Texas Legislature to ensure that all students receive the instruction and support they need to be academically successful in reading and mathematics. Under the Student Success Initiative grade advancement requirements, students are required to pass the Grade 3 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) reading test to be promoted to fourth grade and to pass the Grade 5 TAKS reading and mathematics tests to be promoted to sixth grade. When these students have advanced to eighth grade (beginning in the 2007–2008 school year), they will be required to pass the Grade 8 TAKS reading and mathematics tests to be promoted to ninth grade. In addition to the Student Success Initiative grade advancement requirements, state law also requires that high school students pass the Grade 11 Exit Level TAKS tests in English language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science, along with meeting all their course requirements, to receive a diploma from a Texas public high school.
What Happens at Grade 3?
Third grade students have three opportunities to pass the Grade 3 TAKS reading test. If a student does not pass, the student will be given additional instruction after each testing opportunity. Parents will be notified if their child does not pass the TAKS reading test that is required for promotion. If a student has not passed after the second testing opportunity, a Grade Placement Committee (GPC), which consists of the principal, teacher, and parent or guardian, is formed. The GPC will create an instructional plan based on the individual needs of the student.
The committee will decide, based on local district policy, whether the student will take TAKS or a state-authorized alternate assessment for the third testing opportunity.
Parents’ Role in the Process
A student who is unsuccessful after the third testing opportunity will be retained automatically. However, the student’s parents may appeal the decision to have their child repeat the third grade by submitting a request to the GPC within five working days of receiving the retention notice. The GPC may decide to promote a student to the fourth grade, but only if everyone on the committee agrees that the student is likely to succeed in the fourth grade.
Parents may request a waiver of the third testing opportunity if they do not want their child to test. If the waiver is approved, the student is automatically retained, but the parents may still appeal the retention. A student must participate in all additional instruction required by the GPC, even if the third testing opportunity is waived.
Note: For information about how the Student Success Initiative applies to students receiving special education services, check with the special education contact on your campus.
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