State Superintendent Weighs In On Automatically Holding Back 3rd graders, Tax Cuts

Jan 31, 2014

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan is panning legislation that would automatically hold back third graders who fail a state reading test.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.

Flanagan admits Michigan has a serious problem when it comes to students who don’t read proficiently. But he says it shouldn’t be up to state lawmakers to make decisions about which students are held back and which ones move on to the next grade.

“You don’t automatically retain kids,” he says.  “That’s just insane. This is up to teachers and parents together.”

Flanagan talked about the issue on the Michigan Public Television program “Off the Record.” He shared a personal story about how his father was haunted his entire life by the fact that he was held back in the third grade.

Flanagan also blasted plans to use a large state budget surplus to give an election-year tax cut. He says that money should go to cash-strapped public schools.