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Parents push to postpone Read to Achieve law

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Some parents want lawmakers to postpone or even stop the Read to Achieve law, saying new Common Core standards are setting students up to fail.

The stakes are especially high for third graders who have to go to mandatory six week summer reading camps and can even be held back if they don’t pass.

Some parents want lawmakers to step in.

One group of parents sent a letter to lawmakers last week at the start of the short legislative session.

The letter asks lawmakers to postpone the law for the 2013-2014 year, writing: “… children are so stressed out; they are getting sick; they are vomiting, they are panicking.”

It’s a panic Kim Christy knows firsthand.

For the past year, she has watched her nine-year-old granddaughter Grace struggle with math and reading.

“She wasn’t working at grade level,” Christy said.

She’s helping her get ready for End of Grade exams.

“She’s been frightened, really frightened and worried,” said the grandmother. “It’s sad. It really is sad.”

Michael Everhart sees it all the time.

“I don’t think there are a lot of students that are prepared for it,” Everhart said, who is the center director for Sylvan Learning Center of High Point.

His number of clients has tripled, causing him to hire three extra teachers.

“We’ve gone into kind of crazy mode,” Everhart said.

Lawmakers say they’re working on a bill to repeal Common Core standards from next year’s End of Grade tests.

“Maybe take the heat off these kids a little bit, no third grader should feel that kind of anxiety,” Everhart said.

Anxiety he says not just felt by students but even those helping them study.

“Don’t set them up for failure,” Christy said.