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Lea:  My son is in the 3rd grade and has had an IEP since first grade due to dyslexia and ADHD. He failed the FSA and earned a level 1, but he missed a level 2 which is what he needed to go to the 4th grade by 13 points. He is currently in summer school so that he can have one more chance to move on to the 4th grade by passing the SAT 10. My question is I don’t have total confidence that all of his accommodations were provided during the FSA, even though the school assured me he did. He was supposed to have all the questions and answer choices read to him and he told me only some were read to him. In addition he passed all of his core classes including reading in 3rd grade, yet the FSA can force him to be retained and the Florida law says that students that earn a level 1 and have a substantial reading deficiency must be retained. He does not have substantial reading deficiency, he only has trouble taking tests due to his disability. Can I fight this mandatory retention? If so how?

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08/14/2019 5:38 pm

This is the guiding document for promotion to the 4th grade in Florida.

“Promotion to Grade 4 Technical Assistance Paper”
DPS: 2014-128
DATE: October 27, 2017

08/14/2019 5:34 pm

Lea – 1) You still have options. If your son has no actual reading deficiency, your child shouldn’t be retained simply because of his FSA score. FL statute: “The FSA is not the sole determinant for promotion or retention.” 2) Email principal and request child’s “complete academic record, including all assessments and results.” 3) If you have all of your child’s work from the 3rd grade, you may be able to compile a portfolio that meets state requirements. You can get it certified by a state-certified teacher and get him promoted. There’s more.

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07/07/2016 11:22 am

I did a little reading about the situation in Florida: which I found at

I read: “Students not meeting these criteria may still meet promotion requirements through any one of six good cause
exemptions.” So these “good cause exemptions” are what you need to find out more about. Try the web first — but remember that you are entitled to get your questions answered. If your district doesn’t give you clear answers, call State Ed. Arm yourself with some patience — in my state, calling state ed requires a hefty dose of patience.