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Third Grade Reading Law Could Mean Thousands Will Fail

 JACKSON, Miss. – Starting this school year, third graders could fail if they don’t read well. 

Mississippi lawmakers approved a third grade reading gate law that would mandate all third graders read at a basic level by the end of this school year, or they must repeat the grade. Parents of students who fail under the new law would be notified by a letter, which is expected to be approved by the State Board of Education as early as this Friday.  Based on test data from 2012, about 1 out of 7 of Mississippi’s third graders would have failed. 

State education officials have hired 41 reading coaches and coordinators this year to help students.  But that’s short of the goal of 75; and new numbers discussed Thursday show the help is reaching only a fraction of the state’s elementary schools.

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