Due to school closure, Read by Grade Three law will not retain this year’s third graders

A Dearborn Schools teacher works with four young students gathered around a table.

As a result of the school closures for COVID 19, the Michigan Department of Education is delaying full implementation of the Read by Grade Three law for another year.

This year’s third graders were slated to be the first evaluated and possibly held back in third grade under the law passed in 2016. However, the school closure-ordered by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer means the spring M-STEP assessments were canceled.  Those tests were to be used to determine which students would be recommended to repeat third grade.

The law says any third grade student reading more than one grade level below where they should be would be recommended for retention.  There are several reasons that would allow parents or the school to file for an exemption that would allow a student to continue on to fourth grade.

A recent memo from the Michigan Department of Education clarifies the retention piece of the law will not be implemented this year. However, the law is still in effect and will impact the current second graders next year and the classes that follow them.

Dearborn Public Schools will continue to follow other parts of the legislation, including providing additional teacher training and support for students who struggle with reading.