Education: elementary; requirements related to the retention of certain grade 3 pupils; modify.
Modifies section 1280f (MCL 380.1280f) of the revised school code. It removes provisions related to the retention of third grade students who have not achieved grade-level proficiency in reading. Under section 1280f, students who do not receive a score of at least proficient on the state’s grade-three English Language Arts assessment are subject to retention. Section 1280f includes provisions for teachers to work with early literacy coaches and engage in professional development in early literacy development. It also includes provisions for screening and diagnosing reading deficiencies, developing reading improvement plans and appropriate interventions, and assessing student progress towards grade-level reading proficiency. Provisions for engaging parents in a child’s literacy development are also included.
The provisions that these bills remove outline the criteria for a student to advance to fourth grade. By the end of third grade, students must demonstrate reading proficiency on at least one of the approved assessment measures: the state’s grade three English Language Arts test (score must be less than one year behind in grade three proficiency), an alternative standardized assessment approved by the superintendent, or a portfolio of student work samples. Students who do not demonstrate reading proficiency on one of these measures may be required to repeat third grade. Parents may request a good cause exemption from the retention requirement. Criteria for administrator approval of a good cause exemption are outlined. The repealed provisions include extensive intervention strategies that must be implemented to support the literacy development of students retained in third grade. Students who do not meet the criteria for advancing to fourth grade may be retained beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. Removal of the retention provisions from section 1280f would reduce school accountability and incentives that ensure students’ third grade reading proficiency before advancement to fourth grade.