Calling on the Hotline (in Disco Pants)
All across Oklahoma, schools are approaching Friday with tremendous anticipation. With third grade retention looming, and CTB set to release scores by May 9th, the SDE is now offering a new service.
|Oklahoma State Department of Education offers Reading Hotlines
OKLAHOMA CITY (May 6, 2014) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) will soon establish telephone hotlines for educators and parents who have questions about the third-grade promotion portion of the Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA).
OSDE literacy staff and REAC3H Coaches will answer questions and concerns, provide support for electronic submission of reports and help with communication for parents and citizens.
The RSA Hotlines will be active from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Monday, May 12, through Friday, May 23.
Parents and community members can call (405) 521-3774 to leave comments or questions. The line will be monitored, with responses provided in a timely fashion.
District personnel who have questions should call (405) 521-3301, the main OSDE helpdesk line. Questions will be answered or calls routed to appropriate staff.
School districts statewide will receive third-grade reading test scores from testing vendor CTB/McGraw Hill by Friday. Only third-graders who score Unsatisfactory on the test and don’t meet one of the state’s good-cause exemptions will be retained.
Students who score Unsatisfactory will be able to take an alternate assessment or a teacher may provide a portfolio of the child’s work to demonstrate that he or she reads at appropriate grade level.
For a full list of good-cause exemptions and more information about third-grade promotion, visit thirdgradereading.ok.gov.
The first thing I notice is that the SDE insists on calling it anything but a retention policy. I’ve heard people who work there call it third grade graduation Here they call it promotion. Students, parents, and teachers aren’t worried about promotion. They’re worried about retention.
For two weeks, the SDE is going to have REACH coaches providing hotline support. All 60 of them? How many phone calls do they anticipate? Will the first call be to complain that CTB’s data site is down and that schools can’t access the scores?
I also think it’s interesting that there are different numbers to call for school personnel and non-school personnel. I wonder what would happen if someone called the hotline …
…wait a second. I can’t continue without providing you with this classic 70s earworm from the Sylvers…
Now I’m picturing all the REACH coaches dancing disco-style like the band in that video. And yes, calling that song a classic is a bit of a stretch. Then again, so is providing Q & A support during the last two weeks of the school year (the last week in some places) for the third grade retention law. Where was this outreach to parents during the school year?
Back to the question I began to pose before the musical detour: I wonder what would happen if someone called each hotline with the same question. Would we get the same answer? And what questions should we ask when Oklahoma parents, educators, and community members flood the phones? Please share your ideas in the comments.