More than half of Michigan third graders flunk literacy test

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.

Reading buddies

One of Sherlock’s favorite things to do is cuddle up and listen to someone read a story. Our family has a well-appointed library, where you can easily find him curled up in an armchair.

Elise spent the morning reading Pippi Longstocking to him, and set his dog bed on the table so her reading companion would be comfortable.

I guess I should have anticipated how much she’d love Pippi as a character. An independent, clever little girl, with a pet monkey and a horse that lives on her porch, who collects birds’ eggs, shells, rocks, and treasures from traveling the world, and insists on doing everything her own way – yep, sounds like someone I know.