Black Lives Matter in Third Grade Too… [Indian River County, FL.]

In the charts below look at the disparity between black and white third grade pass rates for the School District of Indian River County’s Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) English Language Arts (ELA) testing.

In 2015, 66.2% of white students passed compared to 30.7% of black students.

In 2019, 70.2% of white students passed compared to 38.7% of black students. That’s a 1.26 % increase in four years.

All Florida schools teach the Florida Standards in ELA. Student performance on the FSA assessments provides important information to parents/guardians, teachers, policy makers, and the general public regarding how well students are learning the Florida Standards.

FSA ELA assessments measure student performance of the Florida Standards in English language arts. For all grade levels tested, the FSA ELA tests assess what students know and are able to do in the broad reporting categories listed below. The difficulty of the concepts assessed on the FSA ELA tests progresses systematically from grade to grade, as does the complexity of the text presented to the student at each grade level.

Grade 3

Key Ideas and Details

In this category, students are expected to read closely to comprehend, analyze, and summarize essential information and concepts, referencing evidence from the text to support inferences and conclusions.

Craft and Structure
In this category, students are expected to interpret literal and nonliteral meanings of words/phrases, determine how text structures and text features impact meaning, and distinguish personal point of view from that of the narrator or author.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
In this category, students are expected to integrate and analyze content presented in diverse media formats and analyze treatment of similar themes or topics.

Language and Editing
In this category, students are expected to demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “Millions of American children get to fourth grade without learning to read proficiently, and that puts them on the high school dropout track. The ability to read by third grade is critical to a child’s success in school, life-long earning potential and their ability to contribute to the nation’s economy and its security.

Obviously, studying the data below, 61.3% of third grade black students are not reading at a level of 90% proficiently by the end of third grade.

 “The 90% rule of comprehension is when students know 90% of the vocabulary words in a reading passage and they are able to infer successfully and generate meaning (Stahl, 1999).  In addition, knowing 90% of the words helps the reader to use context clues, cognitive strategies and inferring abilities that strengthen reader comprehension and also support learning additional words (Nation, 1990).

If a student’s academic language fails to keep within at least 90% of the academic rigors of classroom texts, then eventually students will feel overwhelmed, and loss of motivation is almost surely to occur.  Teachers needs to monitor student’s language comprehension to make sure all students know at least 90% of the words before they are asked to engage in reading and comprehending the text (Rog. 2003).”

Once again, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “Children can succeed at advancing to a 3rd grade reading level only if policymakers focus on school readiness, school attendance, summer learning, family support and high-quality teaching.”

2015 White2015 Black2019 White2019 Black
INDIAN RIVER ACADEMY56.0%23.7%67.9%43.5%
LIBERTY MAGNET75.9%40.0%91.2%46.2%
OSCEOLA MAGNET78.1%83.9%53.8%
PELICAN ISLAND82.6%50.0%79.4%66.7%
VERO BEACH50.0%36.7%50.0%34.4%
Compiled by: Claudia Wahl

So, to the the School District of Indian River School Board and District Administrators, what’s the plan to address this black and white student disparity?

9 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter in Third Grade Too… [Indian River County, FL.]

  1. Great, what does Annie Casey suggest the IRC school district do? What do you suggest be done to improve minority testing scores? How does IRC compare to other FL counties? What’s working in other counties, if anything? If the major difference is parental involvement, what do you suggest they do to improve that? It’s all well and good to use a provocative headline to gain attention. It’s another thing to offer the full picture and make suggestions.
    The lead editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer used the headline, “Buildings Matter Too” when discussing the destruction caused by rioters. He was fired for it.

    • By the way, what if there are some white kids or Hispanic kids failing? Do they not matter? The BLM theme is wearing a little thin. All kids should matter.

      • What if we focused on fixing the problem instead of denying there is one. That’s the problem with this whole school district! We’ve spent hundreds of thousands trying to prove we don’t have a problem yet here we are still saddled with an NAACP court order to desegregate after all these years. It’s people like you that slow progress.
        Stop blaming and start doing something that helps. All the questions you asked can be answered by studies on systemic racism and the school to prison pipeline. If you really wanted answers to your question you would be reading not typing.

      • Obviously every child matters, and if you look at the graph above, there are children failing in every racial demographic. This article is addressing the fact that black children are failing in larger percentages than their peers, and what can be done to assist with that issue.

  2. Representation matters. We need more POC teachers male and female in roles other than music and sports. Children often mimic what they see so, lets show them!

  3. “Once again, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “Children can succeed at advancing to a 3rd grade reading level only if policymakers focus on school readiness, school attendance, summer learning, family support and high-quality teaching.””

    Did you even read the article?

    What is wearing a little thin is your racial anxiety!


Leave a Reply