Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Horton Hears a Who; Jason hears BS!

Yes, I am the blogger who keeps writing about RSA. I can’t help it; especially when junk facts keep spewing from people who should know better.  Recently, I heard the SDE’s Executive Director of RSA, an Oklahoma House of Representatives member, and our State Superintendent of Public Instruction argue the necessity of mandatory retention of 3rd grade students. But here is what I find interesting. In every situation, the 3 amigos mentioned above all used the EXACT same example to support their claim; "A child who scores unsatisfactory on a third-grade assessment can't read and comprehend 'Horton Hears A Who.' But they're being sent into fourth grade where they are expected to read and understand "Little House on the Prairie,'". Sounds like a logical argument, but it is flat out false!

Here are some facts that you won’t hear from the 3 amigos:

So a couple of things come to mind from the above facts:

  • According to grade equivalents, Horton Hears A Who is about a half a grade equivalent below Little House on the Prairie! (3.8 to 4.3)
  • Lexile says Horton Hears A Who is actually 3rd grade book where Little House on the Prairie is a 6th grade book. If any educator is trying to promote a student who can’t read and comprehend a 3rd grade reader to the 6th grade, then THAT is the problem we should be talking about.
  • Can someone explain to the 3 Amigos Dr. Seuss wrote Horton Hears a Who for adults to read promoting the excitement of imagination and reading to children?
  •  What does this say about Lexile numbers when the grade equivalent of Little House on the Prairie is in the 6th grade range but on a 4.3 grade equivalent?

So the 3 Amigos, in an effort to persuade everyone that they know best, want you to believe a student who scored unsatisfactory on the 3rd Grade OCCT reading test (which by the way, has more non reading questions on it than comprehension questions) can’t read a book designed for adults to read to their children when in 4th grade some out of control teacher might have them read a book the Lexile framework indicates is a 6th grade reader!

Their logic, not mine.