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Don't hold back

Indiana isn't overlooked in Education Week's story on third-grade retention measures. Indiana third-graders this month took a test to determine if they are reading at grade level. If they aren't, they have one more chance to pass before they are retained next fall.

Steve Yager, superintendent of Fort Wayne's Southwest Allen County Schools, is quoted in the article. He tells Ed Week that the district – one of the state's highest performing – won't be bound by a test result.

"We are complying with the law as it's written," he said. " 'Last resort' means it's a combined agreement with the parents and the school district. ... Until we're told to do something different, that's the way we're going to handle it."

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at