Experts offer praise, advice for governor’s focus on reading

Capital News Service
LANSING — Education professors in Michigan praise Gov. Rick Snyder’s push to improve third graders’ reading skills, but they caution against adding new tests or retaining struggling students. Snyder’s 2016 budget calls for $48 million to get students reading at grade level by third grade, which means focusing on reading proficiency when they’re younger. “I’m certainly very pleased that the governor has proposed additional funding for early reading instruction,” said Gary Troia, an associate professor at Michigan State University who studies teacher professional development in literacy. The transition from third to fourth grade is particularly crucial in a student’s development of learning abilities, Troia said. “After third grade there’s a fundamental shift in instruction,” he said.