State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) voted no on House Bill 4822, which would require that students be retained in third grade if they cannot meet a benchmark goal to be reading proficient at a third grade level.
           
“I’ve heard from educators in my school districts and they’ve told me that the state should not be mandating when students should be held back,” said Dianda. “The teachers and educators in our schools know best when they should talk to parents about holding a child back. This bill essentially tells local teachers and parents that they don’t know best, and that is why I can’t support it and why I voted no on House Bill 4822.”
           
HB 4822 would mandate that students be held back if they aren’t reading proficiently at a third grade level, and would also put in place intervention programs in the early grades to help students become good readers. It also requires that schools use a K-3 reading assessment from a list maintained by the Michigan Department of Education.
           
“Yes, our kids need to be good readers. But pushing mandates on our local schools and asking them to add new programs when they are already struggling to afford the programs they already have to teach and help our kids, is the wrong way to go about improving reading skills,” said Dianda. “This needs to be left up to our local teachers, educators and parents.”