Reading is fundamental to academic and future success. Students with poor reading skills are less likely to go to college, even to graduate from high school.
I recently supported legislation to make sure students receive the early reading intervention services they need to help them read at grade level by the end of third grade. If reading skills lag at that age, it becomes more and more difficult for them to catch up in later years. Under the legislation, schools would be required to assess the reading skills of K-3 students, provide individual reading improvement plans and use early literacy coaches. Parental involvement is an important part of this process.
Starting in the 2019-20 school year, some students would not automatically be promoted to fourth grade if they are more than one grade level behind the third-grade reading proficiency level, although “good cause” exemptions could be granted.
Third grade is considered a pivotal time because it is the last year students “learn to read” before they “read to learn.” Improving early literacy helps ensure all Michigan children are on the path to a bright future.
House Bill 4822 has been sent to the governor for consideration.