Unified School District
Arizona’s Move on When Reading policy is designed to provide students with evidence-based, effective reading instruction in kindergarten through third grade in order to position them for success as they progress through school, college, and career.
Per A.R.S. §15-701, a 3rd-grade student who fails to meet the Move On When Reading (MOWR) cut score on the Reading portion of the AzMERIT exam will not be promoted to the 4th grade. While many focus on the retention element of the MOWR legislation, which impacts less than 3% of students in the state each year, its primary and greatest impact is in its focus on early identification of struggling readers so that they receive targeted interventions designed to have them reading at grade level by or before the end of 3rd grade. The legislation is designed to equip schools and teachers to provide students with the specific assistance they need to become lifelong readers.
There are four good cause exemptions to retention for 3rd-grade students who fail to meet the MOWR cut score. These apply if a student
Arizona Department of Education has offered a comprehensive guide to improve student reading. This guide is for any parent or caregiver of an Arizona student in grades PreK-3. It is to help parents understand what the Arizona law says about reading requirements for 3rd-grade students, the importance of early literacy, the role families play in helping support foundational early reading skills and activities to use at home. It also suggests questions and ideas that you can discuss with your school to help your child if he or she is a struggling reader.