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Nevada’s Read by Grade 3 Law: Helping Students or Adding Stress?

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, May 16, 2024 8:25 am

A recent change to Nevada’s education law could mean mandatory retention for some third graders struggling with reading. This has sparked debate among parents and educators about the best approach to tackling the state’s literacy challenges.

Third Grade Retention Reintroduced

The Read by Grade 3 Act, passed in 2015, established a system for early reading intervention. However, a mandatory retention component was removed in 2019. Assembly Bill 400, passed in 2023, reintroduced mandatory retention, set to take effect in July 2028.

Parental Concerns

Some parents, like Abriana Tuller, worry about the potential stress retention could put on families. She emphasizes the importance of different learning styles and wants to ensure her children reach grade-level reading standards.

Retention as a Tool

However, Victoria Melendez, another parent, sees retention as beneficial for some children. She shared her experience with retaining her older child, who is now thriving.

Focus on Early Intervention

The Nevada Department of Education identifies students performing below grade level through reading assessments. They emphasize the importance of parents working with teachers to develop a plan if their child receives a “Read by Grade 3 at-risk” letter.

Educators Weigh In

Rachel Vinograd, a Read by Grade 3 strategist, acknowledges the high number of at-risk letters but highlights the support systems in place. Vicki Kreidle, president of the National Education Association of Southern Nevada, cautions against labeling children and emphasizes the importance of teaching persistence.

Looking Ahead

The Nevada Department of Education is considering good-cause exemptions to mandatory retention, such as preventing a child from being held back twice.

This debate highlights the complexity of addressing Nevada’s literacy crisis. While some see mandatory retention as a necessary tool, others emphasize the importance of early intervention and personalized learning approaches.

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