ETM Testifies on Early Literacy Legislation: Improvement Starts with Good Policy

Earlier today, The Education Trust-Midwest gave testimony on House Bill 4822, legislation aimed at improving literacy proficiency.

Students who are unable to read proficiently by third grade are much more likely to drop out of school, not have access to stable employment, and even end up incarcerated. In Michigan, we face an uphill battle.

According to the national assessment, Michigan is just one of a handful of states that have witnessed a decline on fourth-grade reading scores since 2003—ranking in the bottom ten states overall in 2015. In fact, only about 30 percent of students in Michigan were proficient on the 2015 national assessment. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Leading states have made key investments in early literacy and their students have reaped the rewards.

Educational improvement can start with good policy, but needs investment, strong leaders, comprehensive planning, greater accountability, systemic improvements and sustained commitment to get the long-term results Michigan students need and deserve.

Click here to read our full testimony on HB 4822.

Capitol Update

Last week, the Senate Education Committee heard testimony on House Bill 4822 (Price – R), regarding early literacy proficiency. As demonstrated in testimony, which was nearly all supportive of the amended legislation, the bill enjoys broad support. The committee had a second hearing today, where The Education Trust-Midwest offered testimony on the legislation. Read our testimony here.

Upcoming Meetings:

Senate K-12, School Aid, and Education Subcommittee. Wednesday, March 16 at 8:30 am in the Harry T. Gast Appropriations Room, 3rd Floor, State Capitol Building. Agenda:

  • STEM Advisory Council Update
  • Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)
  • Civics Education
  • Children’s Leadership Council
  • Middle Cities Education Association (Poverty in Schools)

House Appropriations Committee. Wednesday, March 16 at 9 am in Room 352, House Appropriations Room in the State Capitol Building, regarding the House Republican plan to address Detroit Public Schools. View video of the March 4, March 7 and March 9 hearings on the bill package. The package includes: House Bills 5382 (Pscholka – R), 5383 (Price – R), 5384 (Garcia – R), 5385 (Poleski – R), 5386 (Jacobsen – R) and 5387 (Garcia – R).

House Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Wednesday, March 16 at 10:30 am in Room 426 of the State Capitol Building. Agenda:

  • Overview of the Office of Educator Talent and Policy Coordination
  • Public Testimony on Executive Budget Recommendation for FY 2016-17
  • House Fiscal Agency Decision Document

To view full update please click here.