Four Northern Virginia elementary schools have applied for a waiver that would exempt third grade students from taking state science and social studies tests.
The Virginia Board of Education is considering applications from 24 Virginia elementary schools, including three schools in Manassas and one in Alexandria. The waivers would give the schools more time to develop students' reading skills.
Virginia deputy education secretary Javaid Siddiqi tells The Washington Post that third-grade reading is a good gatekeeper for academic success.
He says students who are struggling to read also are struggling with comprehending the other subjects.
The board is scheduled to grant waivers to qualified applications in late June.
Extra state funding will be provided to schools that are granted waivers. The money will be used to help pay for a full-time reading specialist to work with struggling students.