Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA)

What is the Purpose of RSA?

The purpose of the Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) is to ensure that all Oklahoma students are reading on grade level at the end of third grade (a critical juncture when students go from learning to read to reading to learn).  RSA supports Oklahoma children in Kindergarten through third grade.

The law outlines the adults’ responsibilities in a student’s academic career, leading up to and including third grade, who endorse the student reading on a third grade level before entering fourth grade.  Reading sufficiency significantly reduces the possible need for remediation in middle and high school and lowers the risk of a student dropping out of school because he or she is unable to read.

What does RSA mean for my 3rd grade student?

By the end of third grade, students must have solid foundational reading skills to be successful in later grades. RSA provides multiple pathways for students to either be promoted by demonstrating those skills or, if they do not, for a teacher-family committee to create an Academic Progress Plan (APP) to promote the student with appropriate supports.
If necessary, a student may need to be retained in third grade for additional instruction. Te purpose of this section of RSA is to ensure that students are either ready to move forward with their learning or have a plan in place to help them be successful as they continue to work on these foundational skills.


Different students have different needs. No child’s promotion or retention is based on one test on one day. Students can
qualify for promotion to fourth grade in the following ways:

Students are eligible for automatic promotion to fourth grade if they meet RSA criteria on the reading portion (which consists of reading comprehension and vocabulary sections only) of the third-grade state English language arts assessment.

Beginning in kindergarten, schools assess students at the beginning and end of each year (at minimum). Any student who shows end-of-year third-grade reading proficiency on one of these screeners during first through third grade is eligible for automatic promotion. Visit with your child’s teacher to find out which screening assessment is used and its proficiency requirements.

When a student does not meet the above criteria for advancement to fourth grade, the student may receive a probationary promotion through a unanimous decision of the Student Reading Proficiency Team (SRPT). The team is made up of a parent or guardian, the child’s current reading teacher, future reading teacher and a certified reading specialist (if one is available). The principal and superintendent must approve the promotion. Any student promoted on probationary basis
will receive intensive reading instruction in fourth grade as outlined through an Academic Progress Plan (APP).

Every child is different, and there can be special circumstances in which it would be in the best interest of the child to advance to fourth grade. If one of the following seven Good Cause exemptions apply, the student may be promoted and receive additional help through intensive reading instruction in fourth grade as outlined through an Academic Progress Plan.

1. English learners who have had less than two years of instruction in English and are identified as Limited English Proficient/English learner on an approved screening tool
2. Students with disabilities whose Individualized Education Plan (IEP) indicates they are to be assessed with the Oklahoma Alternate Assessment Program (OAAP)
3. Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of performance on an alternative standardized reading test approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Education
4. Students who demonstrate through a teacher-developed portfolio that they can read on grade level
5. Students with disabilities who participate in the Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTP) and who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that reflects that the student has received intensive remediation in reading and has made adequate progress toward IEP goals.
6. Students who have received intensive remediation in reading for two or more years but still demonstrate a deficiency in reading and who were previously retained for academic reasons
7. Students facing exceptional emergency circumstances that prevent them from being assessed during the testing window

How SDE Can Help

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (SDE) is assisting school districts as they work to ensure all students are able to meet third-grade reading requirements.

Links for More Information


RSA Legislation
View the Reading Sufficiency Act law and Rules
Parent with child in arms

See a guide explaining 3rd grade retention, download brochures and ELL resources
RSA Coordinator / District

RSA Coordinators / Teachers
Resources on assessments, RSA Today, electronic submission, SARP, sample letters, retention and district plans
Library aisle of books

Reading Sufficiency Research
Find invaluable resources to learn about Reading Sufficiency

This material was updated by the Oklahoma State Department of Education on April 25, 2019. Go to this link to the OSDE to review the page,  This location that has more information about the Reading Sufficiency Act.

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