Parents concerned about new Iowa reading law - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parents concerned about new Iowa reading law

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

The government now is requiring individual testing to determine if a child should advance to 4th grade. However, the tests that decide if a child needs extra help is coming under fire from teachers and parents.

One test that's being used is for comprehension, to see how well a child understands what their reading," said Tammy Wawro, President of the Iowa State Education Association. "But another test a district could choose is how fast they can read."

Wawro says districts make the decision on which test to use and those who choose the speed test find kids reading without inflection and ignoring punctuation in order to finish the test in time.

Parents say that different children progress differently and that this test may not be helping kids learn to read.

"I have one who can comprehend way better than the other one, but the other one wants to get it done faster so he can get a better score," said Fred MacIntire. "So he'll read faster but is he really comprehending? No."

If a child doesn't progress between tests, they are recommended to a 72 hour summer reading program or be held back.

A new piece of the program will allow a school to issue a secondary test to act as a second opinion on a child's reading, but teachers don’t know what that test will look like.

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