The portion of Florida third graders who could be held back jumped to 18 percent this year as a result of low scores on the state’s rigorous new standardized reading exam, the Huffington Post reports. That figure represents 36,577 students who face possible retention — up from 32,429 last year, according to the Associated Press. Students must score a 2 or better on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which is graded on a 1 to 5 scale, to be promoted to the fourth grade. Students who fail have an opportunity for redemption on an alternative skills assessment, which could include a student work portfolio or summer courses. Across the state, 56 percent of third-graders passed the reading exam with a score of 3 or higher — officials were expecting students to score lower on the exams this year after the state raised the passing standard in December…

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