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168 Lawton students fail reading test

The long-awaited day of reckoning for the first class of Oklahoma third-graders subject to the Reading Sufficiency Act arrived Friday  with good news for Lawton Public Schools.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Education figures released on the agency's website Friday, only 14.4 percent of Lawton's third-graders scored unsatisfactory on the state standardized reading test, a total of 168 students districtwide. According to the Department of Education, the average percentage of failing students statewide is 16 percent.

Lawton Public Schools Superintendent Tom Deighan said the number of students who failed the test in the district was actually lower than school officials had expected. He said district administrators had looked at internal test scores a few weeks ago and estimated about 300 students could possibly fail the reading test required for promotion to the fourth grade.

"We cut that almost in half," said Deighan.

The Reading Sufficiency Act is a controversial state law that will have an effect starting with the end of the current school year. It will require third-graders who do not pass a state-mandated standardized reading test to be held back if they do not meet one of six exemptions: limited English proficiency, certain learning-related disabilities, students who demonstrate proficiency on an accepted alternative test, students who demonstrate proficiency through their student portfolios, students who have been previously retained twice before, and students who have received intense remediation for two or more years and have been previously retained once. 

The Lawton Constitution

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