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Michigan Reading Law would hold back almost 5,000 third graders if took into effect today

July 2019

Zara Phillips


As referenced in the article, Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative, when reviewing the 2017-18 M-STEP results, it is estimated that between 2% and 5% of third-graders are not skilled in reading. Specifically discussing that if Michigan’s Read by Grade 3 retention law were to go into effect sometime this fall, almost 5,000 third graders would have to be held back. The number of African American students that would have to repeat the third grade is between 7% and 11% while the percent of special education students that would have to repeat are at 10%.

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Policy Implications

Reading and comprehension development and performance is a vital necessity and real-world skill to have, these policy implications of educational and literacy development will undoubtedly affect the 3rd grade students being considered to be held back. The policy would also have to eventually be altered to account for the other subjects in which student growth is stunted

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