Michigan researchers use grant to study early literacy law

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In this Aug. 1, 2018, photo, in Hartford, Wis., Cash Miller draws with a scented marker, one of the hot items in the school supplies aisle this year. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan researchers are using a $5 million federal grant to study how an early literacy law gets rolled out and its effect on students and educators.

The Michigan Education Research Institute announced the five-year U.S. Department of Education grant on Friday. Researchers are particularly interested in how the 2016 law, which goes into full effect next school year, affects third-graders being held back if they lag in reading.

The research will include educator surveys, classroom observations and analysis of regular literacy assessments.

Advocates have said the law aims to deal with a literacy crisis. Opponents question whether holding back students works.

The institute is a partnership among Michigan State University, University of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Education and the state’s Center for Educational Performance and Information.

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