House Bill 5111 would amend the Revised School Code (MCL 380.1 et al) to specify that, beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, a student could not enroll in grade 4 without passing the grade 3 state reading assessment. If passed, the legislation could affect the education of students with disabilities.
Terra Walters, a Parent Network member, hopes to have a large turnout at the meeting. "We need to educate our elected officials about why this bill is not good for Michigan kids and our school systems," she states.
If a student is unable to score at the proficiency level for a 3rd grade reading test, the school will ensure that the student will not be enrolled in grade 4 until the student achieves a score of at least proficient in reading on a state 3rd grade reading state assessment. "There is no provision in this bill for English Language Learners, students who receive special education services, or those with learning disabilities. There are no provisions to WHY students are not proficient in reading. We are far behind in the area of identifying a dyslexic learner in our school systems," shares Walters. "Out of those who are dyslexic, only 1/3 will be identified under Specific Learning Disability and will receive Special Education services from the schools. The remediation services provided in our schools are often not scientifically based programs for a dyslexic learner therefore the child will most likely not be able to reach reading at grade level. The other 2/3 of dyslexic learners will go unidentified," she explains. Without proper intervention, students with dyslexia will not master reading at grade level. "They need to learn and master the rules of the English language. This bill could keep smart students who think differently, who aren't getting the proper interventions, in third grade indefinitely," says Walters.
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