third grade

During the last week before EOG testing, third grader Eleanor raises her hand to answer a word problem in her classroom at Smith Elementary School in Burlington.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Third graders at Smith Elementary School in Burlington took a break from class on a recent Friday afternoon to reflect on what school had been like lately.

Lucero is finishing up the third grade at her school in Alamance County. It's a high-pressure year -- not just for her, but for her mom too.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Every day when Ismari Molina was pregnant with her first daughter, she saw what she calls “the big star” on her way home from work.

Third grader Dylan Ward works on a reading exercise in his classroom at Marvin B. Smith Elementary School in Burlington. Literacy is a special focus in the third grade.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Third grader Dylan Ward says that when he goes to college, he’s going to be a “professional football player, that’s it.”

Books
Reema Khrais

 Across the state, 79.2 percent of third-grade students showed they were proficient last year, according to a report presented to the State Board of Education on Thursday. 

A total of 12.7 percent of third-grade students were either retained in the third-grade or placed in transitional or accelerated classes. The remaining students were exempt because they are either English Language Learners or have learning disabilities. 

School districts say current assessments under the Read to Achieve mandate are excessive and take away from teaching time.
Judy Baxter via Flickr

Calling the current testing mandate excessive, school districts are asking the State Board of Education if they can implement their own tests to fulfill the state’s new reading law for third-grade students.

Under the Read to Achieve law, passed last year, third-grade students are required to attend summer reading camps if they are not reading at grade level by the end of the year.