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New state law will hold back students who can't read

Because reading is so important for students around Madison's age, the state's new 3rd grade reading law mandates a plan for students who might not be reading at Madison's level. (Photo: Joel Feick NBC25/FOX66)

MONTROSE, Mich. - Second-grade student Madison Evans reads "The Spring Picnic with Angel Cat Sugar."

It's not something she always likes to do.

Her mom says it can be a challenge to get her to read.

Katie Anne Evans says "We read a lot of books at night especially at bedtime. Sometimes I finish the sentence for her to make it fun."

Reading is so important for students around Madison's age and the state's new third-grade reading law mandates a plan for students who might not be reading at Madison's level.

The principal of Carter Elementary in Montrose, Cassandra Jackson says "it requires an individual plan for each student who's performing below grade level."

Recent M-Step testing shows Michigan students might be advancing in other subjects, but on average, not so much in reading.

The scary part for some parents could be if their child can't read by the end of third grade, their child won't move forward.

Katie Anne says, "It worries me that they can make you hold them back."

Cassandra Jackson says, "If the student is unable to be within one grade level on the M-Step in third grade, they get a certified letter indicating they are a candidate for retention."

But that provision won't take effect for another two years.

Jackson, who's a mother of four believes good readers start at home.

She says, "We need to make sure kids have a love for reading and we need to make sure kids are reading at home with their parents."

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