A new education law could make summer a busier time for tutors, 10TV’s Kristyn Hartman reported on Friday.
The law, which Gov. John Kasich signed last week, will force children to repeat the third grade as much as twice if they cannot pass a reading test.
Carson King will begin second grade in the fall. He has been in tutoring since he was 4, said his mother, Jennifer King.
"Tell me which letters are the vowels," said reading tutor Anne Schlicter.
Carson will be in the third grade when the new state law goes into effect in 2013.
According to the new law, in the 2013-2014 school year, students who do not pass a state reading test will not be allowed to go on to fourth grade.
Jennifer King said that her son has problems focusing when he is in large groups, including classrooms full of his peers. She said that she was concerned about how the new law will affect students like Carson.
"It's scary as a parent, especially for a child who is struggling and takes a lot of work to keep up to that level," King said. "He works very hard at it. And I could see it being very intimidating to him. And I'm afraid if it's made a big deal for him, that he wouldn't do well on the testing."
So Carson came to Anne Schlicter in Grandview to be tutored in reading, for an extra boost. Schlicter has tutored reading for over 35 years, Hartman reported.
Schlicter pointed to the word "napkin" formed by the letter blocks.
"So where do you divide a word?" she asked Carson.
He snapped the word apart into the two correct syllables. "Nap-kin," he read.
"Reading is the most important subject. Without it you're really going to be lost," Schlicter said. "It's the building block for every other subject, even including math."
King said that Carson was strong in math but was not doing well because he could not read the directions.
Schlicter said that she was in favor of the new law because it also requires schools to provide instructional intervention when students are struggling.
"It needs to be a type of teaching that is systematic, intensive, structured," Schlicter said.
But Jennifer King worried that the law could create new problems if teachers pulled kids out of class for structured help.
"How much can you pull them out to work on reading, and then they're missing math and other subjects? So then do they fall behind in that?" she asked.
Schlicter is teaching 30 students this summer, half of them in early elementary grades.
She said that she expects more calls for help when the law takes effect. She is concerned about the children whose parents cannot afford tutors, Hartman reported.
Patrick Galloway, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education, said that the law exempts some children with disabilities and other special education needs, as well as those with limited English.
According to Galloway, the law also requires school districts to establish a policy for mid-year promotion and a way for districts to let children demonstrate reading proficiency, then move on to fourth grade.
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