Report: 3rd graders' reading skills on decline in MI - WNEM TV 5

Report: 3rd graders' reading skills on decline in MI

Posted: Updated:

The reading skills of Michigan’s third graders are on the decline, despite big money being spent on literacy programs.

According to the state’s standardized test M-STEP, scores have steadily dropped for the last three years.

During the 2015 school year, only 50 percent of third graders were proficient in reading. The following year it was down to 46 percent. By 2017, the rate was just 44 percent.

The state has spent almost $80 million on literacy coaches and individual reading plans the last few years to get third graders at the appropriate reading level.

Michigan’s decline in elementary school reading is not anything new.

“We’ve experienced that here in Flint, I’ll be very honest there. And so, that’s the reality and so how do we respond to that,” Flint Community Schools Superintendent Bilal Tawwab said.

In 2016, state lawmakers passed legislation that would force districts to hold back if they are more than one grade level behind in reading based on standardized test scores.

Those rules would go in place in the 2019 academic year.

Tawwab said his district is hard to find the answers to the difficult problem.

“There’s huge amounts on that third grade. We want to make sure that all of our kids are hitting that key reading milestone at third grade because that would truly ensure or guarantee their success moving forward,” Tawwab said.

Meanwhile, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is addressing the concerns head on with a new reading initiative, which encourages students to read even after school is out through fun, but educated programs.

“Our buildings are open to six, seven o’clock in the evening with programming for children. With programming for folks in our community. And even through community ed, even students who are not a part of Flint Community Schools have an opportunity to come into our schools and receive support,” Weaver said.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.