Louisiana 3rd Graders Will Likely Have New Literacy Testing
Yesterday afternoon, the Louisiana Senate gave the needed final legislative approval for a bill aimed at improving the reading scores of some of Louisiana's youngest students.
In a story first reported by the Louisiana Radio Network we learn that this legislation, authored by Mandeville Representative Richard Nelson, will require all public school third grade students to pass a reading test in April in order to be promoted to the fourth grade.
This new law will give all third grade students a total of three chances to pass the necessary test. According to Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell, “At the first screening, if it appears the child is not going to be at the appropriate reading level, they will go into intensive instruction, they will have the option of taking another screening or they would be retained.”
In an effort to improve Louisiana's literacy rates, which are some of the lowest in the country, this testing can hopefully achieve some of the same improvements they have seen in Mississippi where they have adopted a similar plan.
Senator Mizell believes that improving children's ability to read can spawn much better outcomes in the child's later life. She says, “I guarantee you the most of the kids are picked up for crime are not literate, I guarantee you there is a literacy problem that’s spawning a lot of the problems we see.”
Of course the legislation still requires the signature of Governor John Bel Edward, and if he does, the first tests are to be administered in April 2025.