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State education officials say they are making progress on early literacy

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

State Education officials are touting programs to improveearly childhood literacy.

The programs help state and local educators collaborate to bring more children’s reading up to grade levelby the end of the third grade.

By the end of ther 2019-2020 academic year, students reading at well under grade level may not be promoted to the fourth grade.

Andy Middlestead is the director of the Education Department’s Office of Assessment and Accountability. He can’t say how many Michigan third graders may be held back.

“I don’t want to give it an estimate because we are currently working through a strategy as to how to best flag these students,” says Middlestead, who adds they hope to finish “fleshing out the process" in the next six months.

Michigan’s “Read by Grade 3” law allows school officials to promote some under-performing students for “good cause” if the students are performing well in other areas.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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