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Policy group criticizes plan to allow the flunking of third graders who can't read

LANSING, MI (WTVB) - Proposed legislation in Lansing that would flunk third-graders who can’t read,  so-called “Mandatory Retention” bills would be a huge mistake according to the Michigan League for Public Policy. Jane Zehnder-Merrill says it would just be treating the symptom and not the disease. She says it will add a huge financial burden to districts that can least afford it.

Michigan ranks 37th in fourth grade reading proficiency. Last year It would have resulted in 40% of the class being held back. Zehnder-Merrill says more often than not flunking a grade leads to a drop-out and not a redeemed reader.