MASB Issues Statement on Third Grade Reading Bill

LANSING: MASB Executive Director Don Wotruba issued the following statement on the passage of House Bill 4822:

MASB is pleased to see the Legislature pass House Bill 4822, which includes reading assessments and interventions for students beginning in kindergarten to help them reach proficiency by third grade. Support for reading intervention programs for early elementary students and continued support for those students who are not grade-level proficient has been a legislative priority for MASB. This is a great step in getting struggling students the assistance that they need.

MASB worked hard to make sure that retention was a last resort for these students and are happy that our concerns were covered in this bill. It allows for a good-cause exemption if parents believe retention will be harmful to their child, as well as allowing a child who is proficient in other subjects to move on to fourth grade and continue the reading interventions. We also worked to ensure that all students would have the same opportunity to benefit from interventions before being subject to possible retention.

We will continue to monitor the implementation of this new law to ensure it is having its intended effect and that our schools have the proper resources they need. While this legislation is a great first step, we do not believe our work on this issue is over.