The Test

For the first time in Michigan history, third-graders could be kept from advancing to fourth grade because of poor reading skills. It’s a high-stakes test for students, teachers, schools, and a state with schools that languish in the bottom third in the nation. Today, Bridge begins a series of stories following four third-grade classrooms through the 2019-20 school year. 

Full Coverage

The Test: ‘Read-or-flunk’ law looms over Michigan third-graders

The Test: ‘Read-or-flunk’ law looms over Michigan third-graders

Oct 23, 2019 | Ron French

Bridge begins a series following four third-grade classes as they prepare for a test determining who moves on to fourth grade, and who stays behind.

After 3 years of substitute teachers, this Michigan girl may flunk 3rd grade

After 3 years of substitute teachers, this Michigan girl may flunk 3rd grade

Dec 3, 2019 | Ron French

Sabrina, 8, is caught in the crossfire of two state education crises – the state’s new third-grade “read-or-flunk” law and an explosion in the use of uncertified long-term substitute teachers in state classrooms.

Gov. Whitmer launching effort to undercut Michigan’s third-grade reading law

Gov. Whitmer launching effort to undercut Michigan’s third-grade reading law

Jan 29, 2020 | Ron French

An estimated 5,000 students could be flagged to repeat third grade because of low reading scores. In her State of the State address, Whitmer will unveil a plan designed to help parents get around the Republican-backed law.

Michigan schools revolt: We won’t flunk struggling third-grade readers

Michigan schools revolt: We won’t flunk struggling third-grade readers

Jan 31, 2020 | Ron French

In what amounts to a mutiny against Michigan’s “read-or-flunk” law, school districts around the state tell Bridge they don’t plan to make students repeat third grade because of poor reading scores.