Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Please Take Action and Call on HB 5111, HB 5112, and HB 5144

There are several bills moving through the Michigan Legislature right now which could have significant impact on public school policy next year.

Please take the time to contact your Representatives and make them aware that they may be casting a vote on several important issues as soon as tomorrow (see below). The House Education Committee is set to take up HB 5112 (letter grading accountability system), HB 5111 (third grade reading retention) and HB 5144 (early assessments and interventions). If these bills pass out of committee they are poised to be taken up by the House of Representatives soon.

We should respectfully ask that if HB 5111 and HB 5144 are voted out of committee that they request additional time to thoughtfully engage and fully understand the implications of the legislation prior to voting. Encourage them to contact the local Superintendents in order to learn more about our work to improve third grade reading proficiency.

We believe the best way to improve proficiency is through early assessments and interventions (as outlined in HB 5144). However, we do not support a mandatory retention policy (as outlined in House Bill 5111) for students who do not demonstrate proficiency on the third grade state assessment. We believe that students who are behind should have an intervention plan in place where retention, among many other successful and impactful interventions, should be considered NOT MANDATED. This plan should be developed in consultation with the parent, educator and school leader. These individuals are closest to the student and can best determine the needs of the student.

Please share your thoughts with your Representatives and encourage them to learn more about this complex issue prior to casting their vote. If they must cast a vote tomorrow - we respectfully ask for them to vote "no" until the mandatory retention language is removed.

Also, feel free to share this information with others. Thank you as always for your support of public education!!