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Reading Between the Lines

Reading Between the Lines

After a recently published email from a Chattooga High School faculty member sent to the Board of Education members drew out criticisms from many in the community, both toward the educator and toward publishing the email in general, AllOnGeorgia reached out to school officials for further clarification on the sentiments expressed by the teacher.

In the email, the teacher claimed that seniors in their class were reading on a 5th grade level, could not write and, that the teacher had been reprimanded for speaking out in opposition against the 4-day school calendar.

AllOnGeorgia requested a copy of the reprimand from the County Office only to discover that no such reprimand, verbal or written, was ever issued.

AllOnGeorgia then requested the Lexile reading scores for those seniors enrolled in this particular teacher’s classes. The scores demonstrate that the average Lexile score for those 17 seniors is a 1340, a grade-level equivalent to a 11.3. The classes the teacher instructs are not academic classes, but only CTAE classes.

Lexile scores are generated from a reading test or program that is implemented across the state to track reading growth. A Lexile reader measure can range from below 200L, for beginning readers, to above 1700L for advanced readers.

While the initial article was pointing out the danger in a faculty member erroneously reporting to board members, many 5-day calendar supporters were quick to use the email as a rallying cry for proof that the 4-day calendar had failed these students. In fact, the statistics again prove that the generalization of students’ academic levels is not just damaging, but completely false.


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Casie Bryant is the NW Georgia Regional Manager for AllOnGeorgia.

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