Statement from state Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) on the passage of the third grade reading bill

Thursday, September 22, 2016

“I am deeply disappointed with yesterday’s passage of House Bill 4822, better known as the third-grade reading bill.  The state of Michigan continues to advance education policies that do nothing to support students that are grossly impacted by poverty, and this bill is another example of that. Advancing policies that seek to retain students without ensuring a solid foundation for reading, or wrap-around services for those who may be struggling for non-academic reasons, is wrong and will do nothing to move the needle on Michigan’s ranking as 34th in the nation for educational quality. Yes, all children must be taught to read; however, punitive actions, statistically speaking, do not work.  The adequacy study originated during the 2014 lame duck legislative session, published May 2016 by Augenblick, Palaich and Associates (APA), highlights that Michigan is not spending enough money to achieve the goals we’ve set for our students and schools.  Further, the unreliability of the state of Michigan’s assessment test adds another barrier to the potential success of our children. HB 4822, now headed to Gov. Snyder where it is sure to be signed into law, will take effect 90 days after enactment. I am committed to working with our Detroit Public Schools leadership and all community stakeholders to ensure that our current kindergarteners receive the support needed from home, school and supporting agencies.”