Florida lawmakers quietly change third-grade retention law
It also changed the rules for Florida's controversial and oft-copied third-grade retention rules, first promulgated by Jeb Bush. The rule, which as Politico noted is losing steam in other states, requires third graders to pass the state reading exam or repeat the grade until they can demonstrate the ability to move ahead.
The law always included exemptions, such as a performance portfolio, an alternate test score and consideration of disabilities and English proficiency. Now, the Legislature has added another way out: Previous third grade retention.
SB 850 added this language to the good cause exemptions:
"Students who have received intensive reading intervention for 2 or more years but still demonstrate a deficiency in reading and who were previously retained in kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3 for a total of 2 years. A student may not be retained more than once in grade 3."