The Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) issued a report this summer aimed at getting a better understanding of the estimated impact of the retention requirement in Michigan’s Read by Grade Three law.

EPIC is a strategic research partner of the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The report is available on the EPIC website.

The Read by Grade Three law, which requires third graders to repeat third grade if they are more than one grade level behind will take effect in the 2019-20 school year. For its analysis, EPIC looked at the 2017-18 Grade 3 M-STEP ELA results and the established cut points to estimate the percentage of tested students who would be required to repeat the third grade.

The report includes several key takeaways. Depending on how many students receive Good Cause Exemptions, estimates suggest that:

  • Between 7% and 11% of African Americans may be retained
  • Up to 10% of Special Education students may be retained.
  • Between 12-20% of students in Partnership Schools may be retained.
  • Between 2-4% of students in Traditional Public Schools may be retained and between 4-7% of students in Public School Academies may be retained.
  • Between 2% and 5% of 3rd graders may be retained as a result of Read by Grade 3.

Students who are more than one year behind grade-level in reading will receive additional support to improve their reading level.