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School leaders discuss how to get students reading

September 30, 2016 GMT

Local school district superintendents like some parts of the new state bill that requires districts to hold back any third-graders who do not show proficiency in reading, but they question other parts of the legislation.

The bill does allow a number of exemptions to let kids still advance for good cause. Those exemptions would apply to children with disabilities, students for whom English is a second language and children who were previously held back despite receiving intensive reading help for at least two years and new students who didn’t receive an appropriate individualized reading intervention in their old district.

Starting in the 2019-20 school year, third-graders wouldn’t advance unless their state reading score is less than a grade level behind, they show proficiency through an alternative assessment or they demonstrate mastery through work samples.

The bill also calls for reading assessment testing three times each year, including once in the first 30 days of the school year. Kids with a delay or deficiency would receive an individual reading improvement plan within 30 days, created by their teacher, principal and parent(s).

Only 46 percent of Michigan’s 105,000 third-graders were proficient in English language arts on the M-STEP state assessment given in the spring.

Read the full story in Friday’s Ludington Daily News print and eEditions.