Michigan 3rd graders wouldn’t get held back for low reading scores under new bill

Senate passes third grade reading law amendment


The Michigan Senate has passed a bill amendment that would prevent third-grade students from being held back because of low reading scores.

State lawmakers are changing a 2016 law that provides instructions for institutions and educators to help third graders “achieve a score of at least proficient in English language arts on the grade state assessment.” Under that law, third grade students with insufficient reading assessment scores would be held back under most circumstances starting in 2019-2020 school year.

The Democrat-led Michigan Senate on Wednesday passed Senate Bill 0012, which amends the portion of the reading law to prevent students from being held back based on reading scores. Instead, the updated bill states that if a student receives a low reading assessment score, their parent or guardian will be notified and provided information about intervention options. The student will also be placed into a reading intervention program through fourth grade to help address their reading difficulties.

Most other parts of the original law were not amended.

Previously, a third grade student with insufficient reading test scores would only be allowed to move on to fourth grade if a superintendent or chief administrator of the school district granted the student an exemption.

The bill is headed to the Michigan House of Representatives next. More changes could be made there.

You can read the entire bill below.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.