The Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) was enacted in 1997 to improve Oklahoma students’ reading skills before the end of third grade. Since that time, Oklahoma has made several changes to the Act. In 2011-2012, the legislature established an intensive, accelerated reading program, known as the Reading Enhancement and Acceleration Development (READ) Initiative, for kindergarten to third grade students who fail to meet grade-level reading standards. It also decided that effective in 2013-14, students who received an unsatisfactory score on a statewide standardized reading test would be retained in third grade unless they qualified for promotion under a narrow set of exemptions.
In 2014, the Legislature passed HB 2625, which amended the Reading Sufficiency Act to allow a “probationary promotion” for third graders who fail the standardized test, if recommended by a Student Reading Proficiency Team composed of parents and educators. The Legislature successfully overrode Governor Fallin’s veto of HB 2625. In 2017, the Legislature passed HB 1760 to make this exception to the Reading Sufficiency Act permanent. In 2019, SB 601 was passed and adjusted some of the good-cause exemption requirements, added a mid-year screening assessment for kindergarten through third-grade students, and clarified language around the expectations for kindergarten students.