I am completing my second year of teaching first grade. I told myself last year that I would not have nonreaders moving on to second grade. Well, I am really bummed out to see that I have three nonreaders that will move on to second grade. One student came to me after the first nine weeks with o.k. grades. She has limited reading skills. However, she has the points to move forward, plus she is a severe behavior problem. The other two students are retainees that cannot be held back even if they were failing, which they are not. They have managed to skid by with enough points to move on. So, my question is this.... How do you grade reading? I give a Sight Word test weekly. These students sometimes pass and sometimes fail this test, but never retain the words after the test. I also give reading comprehension tests on read-alouds. These students do well on these, so their grades average out to "C"s. I also give out phonics worksheets to grade--identifying sounds, matching words to pictures, matching sentences to pictures. They manage to pass these also, but cannot read. I have to be careful with my grades because informal points cannot exceed formal points. Formal grades must be in multiple choice format, making it difficult to grade reading. I have leveled readers. They are barely reading a D level. When I tested their reading ability on Star Reading, their ZPD was 0.7. I watched them take the test. These right answers were luck. I don't know what to do. There is no way they can pass second grade. Of course, the girl's grandmother thinks it is my fault that she can't read. We are a professional develop school. I do all the research on reading and have numerous research materials to work with. I just cannot reach them. So, what can I do next year different to ensure that nonreaders do not move on to the next grade? What do you grade for reading in first grade?