Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"Read or Flunk" is law

Lawmakers have been pursuing a third-grade reading retention bill, also called "read or flunk" by some, for years.  It has finally become law.

Governor Snyder signed the legislation Oct. 6.  The new law will require schools to hold back third graders who are more than a year behind in reading.  The law does contain exceptions:
Not all third-graders who are behind would be held back, though. The new law allows parents to request an exemption to allow their child to move on to the fourth grade.
And there would be exemptions for a student who is new to a school and hasn't yet had time to catch up. [Detroit Free Press, Oct. 6, 2016.]
Snyder tried to downplay the centerpiece of the reading retention bill--the retention:
"Many people will view this as a third-grade issue or a promotion issue," Snyder said after the ceremony. "It's much broader than that. This needs to be about pre-K through 3 reading, and it needs to be about all the positive tools ... to help these young people be successful." [, Oct. 6, 2016.]

Children will have three methods of demonstrating their proficiency in order to move on to fourth grade: "Through Michigan's state standardized test, an alternative assessment, or multiple work samples that show competency on all third-grade English language art standards." 

We have written about this bill repeatedly:
It's terrible policy, and terrible law.

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