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Parents have options if kids don’t pass new AIMS requirements

PHOENIX — As third graders across the state are taking standardized tests this week, it’s the first year that those who do not pass the reading portion of the AIMS test will not be allowed to advance in school and that might have some parents worried.

For those kids that are struggling and may not pass the reading portion, parent could be concerned about what effect being held back could have on their kids.

Deanne Davies, a child behavioral expert, said being held back can be a difficult experience for kids.

“The ramifications of that could be that the child internalizes the feeling of being not as smart as others, based on one criteria of that child’s learning,” she said.
She said often the way kids react is on a case-by-case basis, but there are things parents can do to help their kids.

“If the situation is managed in a way that being held back is not a negative connotation to the child and it isn’t something that is sprung on the child,” she said. “I think children have better odds of succeeding without this being a major trauma to them.”

Davies said if parents are concerned about their kid’s ability or performance it’s very important to seek help.

“I would encourage the educators and the parents to get together on this and determine that child’s needs,” she said. “It does not have to be a long-term trauma — it absolutely does not have to be. Many of us have gone through those experiences and are just fine today.”

The new requirement for third graders to pass the reading portion to advance in school is part of a 2010 initiative by Gov. Jan Brewer called Move on When Reading.