After investing $100 million in improving literacy outcomes, more than half of third-graders in Michigan failed the state’s standardized test in language arts. This is the fourth year in a row that more than half of Michigan students were reading below grade level.
In public schools, third grade is generally regarded as a litmus test for academic performance. After third grade, kids are expected to be able to read, and teaching children to read is no longer treated as a distinct subject. A child who cannot read after third grade will likely experience a snowball effect of academic failures. They fail in math and science and history because they can’t read their textbooks, and no one is going to hover over them all day to help them sound out the words. In Michigan, that’s a majority of students.
Only 37% of students were proficient in math.