QPS gets tougher on student reading standards

The Quincy Public School District plans to get tough on students who fail to meet a certain reading standard.

That was the focus of a curriculum discussion at Wednesday night's school board meeting.

Beginning next school year, the district plans to strictly enforce a policy that says students who are a year or more behind in their reading achievement level could be held back if they can not meet standards by the end of the year.

The policy applies to students in kindergarten through 8th grade.

School Board President Stephanie Erwin said she felt the district needed to take action now instead of continuing to advance students who fail to meet standards.

"We just thought it's not doing the teachers any good, and it's not doing the students any good, because they need to be where they need to be at the end of the year," Erwin said. "So we need to stop and just say, 'we've got to catch those kids up.'"

Erwin added that the policy is not new, merely that the district will enforce the current policy more strictly.

When asked why the policy was not strictly-enforced in the past, Erwin said the staff and resources needed to help students catch up were not always available.

The district has eased into the policy in the 3rd and 4th quarters of this school year by having teachers inform parents that their students are not meeting standards.

The district does not determine reading level by a single test score. Erwin said there are many factors that contribute.