Hansen speaks on recommendations in Third Grade Reading Workgroup report

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LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Goeff Hansen, one of three Senate members of Michigan’s Third Grade Reading Workgroup, spoke Wednesday about the group’s recommendations on ensuring literacy in Michigan.

“These recommendations, and associated funding, will help position Michigan as a national leader in reading proficiency and ultimately help our children to succeed and compete in a 21st Century global environment,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “I’d like to thank the governor for making this early literacy initiative a priority of his Fiscal Year 2016 budget recommendation.”

In March, Gov. Rick Snyder convened the workgroup to identify the factors that cause too many of Michigan’s third grade students to lack reading proficiency, and to recommend data-proven solutions that will change outcomes by improving the foundation upon which reading proficiency is built.

The workgroup released its report Wednesday at a press conference in Lansing.

Hansen, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on K-12, School Aid, and Education, said one of the many items the subcommittee funded in this year’s budget is this targeted investment in early literacy.

“Michigan’s children, parents and teachers deserve additional tools to improve Michigan’s early literacy system,” he said.

Suggested strategies for improvement in the workgroup’s report include:
•    Increase the amount of classroom time spent on reading comprehension, assess skills often, and intervene with additional strategies as early as possible;
•    Ensure every teacher has the training necessary to use diagnostic and growth tools to determine where each student is in terms of their level of reading proficiency, and help them form an individualized action plan to help the student;
•    Engage parents in developing their children’s early literacy skills by providing them the tools they need, specifically during summer months and afterschool hours;
•    Give each K-3 student who is one or more grade levels behind additional time and intervention so they can get back to grade level as quickly as possible; and
•    Provide Michigan teachers and leaders with data that shows how our students and schools are performing in growth and proficiency compared to other states, and an annual report on our progress toward the highest early reading proficiency in the nation.

The full workgroup report is available at www.Michigan.gov/Snyder.

In addition to Hansen, workgroup members include Autocam Corp. CEO John C. Kennedy III, the chairman of the group; Sens. Phil Pavlov and Hoon-Yung Hopgood; Reps. Amanda Price, Tim Kelly, and Adam Zemke; Budget Director John Roberts; Budget Administrator Robbie Jameson; and Darin Ackerman, Karen McPhee and Tyler Sawher of the Executive Office.

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