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To boost 3rd-grade reading, Michigan may hold back more kids

Jan 31, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder and lawmakers are making third-graders' reading proficiency a significant focus this year.

Third grade is a key benchmark because it's the last year students learn to read before reading to learn.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

  They have unspecified plans to improve kids' literacy long before they're 8 or 9 years old. But it remains unclear how far policymakers will go to deal with students who still aren't reading well enough by the end of third grade.

  Legislation forcing pupils who aren't proficient in reading to repeat third grade stalled in the Legislature last year.

  Snyder's expected to soon propose additional spending on prenatal-to-third-grade programs. He also plans legislation to create a commission to propose recommendations.

  Snyder also appears open, however, to retaining third-graders who do poorly on a standardized reading test.

  Third grade is a key benchmark because it's the last year students learn to read before reading to learn.