Bill would repeal ‘Read by 3’ law

A bill wending its way through the Nevada Legislature would undo one of the few educational reforms pressed by Gov. Brian Sandoval that could actually be effective and provide a return on investment.

Assembly Bill 409 — sponsored by the Assembly Education Committee, so no Democrats had to leave fingerprints — proposes to repeal the law that requires third graders who fail to read at grade level be held back and not promoted to fourth grade. The law, which doesn’t take effect until July 2019, met resistance from educrats from the beginning. A former State Board of Education member was quoted as saying another test is “not going to improve reading.”

This was back in 2011 when former Florida Gov. and future presidential candidate Jeb Bush was writing in The Wall Street Journal: “While preparing kids for college and careers starts on the first day of kindergarten, the first good indicator of their chances for success may come in fourth grade. That is when students transition from learning to read to reading to learn.”

Bush explained what Florida did: “Florida ended automatic, ‘social’ promotion for third-grade students who couldn’t read. Again, the opposition to this hard-edged policy was fierce. Holding back illiterate students seemed to generate a far greater outcry than did the disturbing reality that more than 25% of students couldn’t read by the time they entered fourth grade. But today? According to Florida state reading tests, illiteracy in the third grade is down to 16%.”

Sandoval embraced Bush’s concept and added it to his education reform package of laws.

According to a reporter for The Nevada Independent, Sandoval just might veto AB 409 if it makes it to his desk. She has posted on Twitter what is apparently a statement attributed to the governor: “The Read by Grade 3 initiative placed nearly $30 million directly in classrooms in more than 300 schools across Nevada with a clear line of accountability and singular focus on developmental reading. The Governor will not compromise on the goal of ensuring every student in Nevada is reading at grade level by third grade.”

 

 

 

 

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2 comments on “Bill would repeal ‘Read by 3’ law

  1. Rincon says:

    Reading this law reminds me a lot of EPA and OSHA regulations, except that it applies to education rather than the environment or workplace. I can’t help but think that it will just add another layer of administrative personnel, sucking money away from teaching. It may also have the effect of motivating teachers to neglect areas such as arithmetic so that they can maximize the time spent on reading skills. An unbalanced approach?

    The No Child left Behind program was somewhat similar with disappointing results. I’m not sure that legislative micromanagement is the best answer.

  2. dave72 says:

    Here in Nevada, I would recommend a “Read by 72” law. That way at least some of the morons living here could eventually learn to read, write and even spell their own names. Look out, Mississippi and Alabama, we’re still racing you to the bottom!

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