Email from my representative. I agree with my representative across the board. Indubitably, this is pure republicanism in tone.
Many residents have contacted my office to express their concerns regarding House Bill 4822, legislation that would prohibit a child from enrolling in the fourth grade if they are not reading at grade level based on state assessments. Unlike legislation that was introduced last session, this bill would only allow students to be held back for up to one year. The bill would also establish new K-3 reading intervention and professional development programs to help increase reading proficiency.
Please know that I support the early intervention and professional development components of this legislation; however, I fundamentally oppose the mandatory retention requirement. Mandatory retention is not the solution to increasing reading proficiency and will only compound the problem.
I have very serious concerns about the unintended consequences of this legislation, which would likely result in increased drop-out rates. Studies show that students are far more likely to drop out when they are held back due to the psychological implications. Retention is a very traumatic experience for children and this legislation would redefine high-stakes testing. Every child has unique needs that should be thoughtfully considered by everyone involved, parents, teachers, care givers, and administrators, when making a determination about a child’s best interest.
Rather than focusing all of this time and attention on legislating mandating retention, I believe we need to look for collaborative ways to support our students, parents and teachers by properly funding and prioritizing early childhood literacy programs that have been thoroughly researched and have proven to be effective at increasing reading proficiency and early childhood literacy.
I also support investing in universal full-day preschool, and ensuring that reliable transportation is available for every child to travel safely to school. We should also fund proven early childhood literacy programs, such as Reach Out and Read, which is administered through pediatricians and focuses on parental behavior and access to age appropriate books. Reading and literacy begin at birth, which means we need to ensure that every child has access to age appropriate books and every parent understands the importance of reading to their children from birth.
Putting programs in place that give educators and parents the tools they need to support our children become successful is the right approach.
Career Town Hall & Resource Fair
Please join me for the Career Town Hall & Resource Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Plumbers Local 98, located at 555 Horace Brown Drive in Madison Heights:
Resource Fair: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Resource Fair: 7:30 to 8:00 p.m.
We will have K-12, community college, university, workforce agencies, job training programs, financial aid advisors, counselors, and human resource personnel to speak with you and answer questions.
Our panel discussion will focus on our changing economy, what careers are in high demand, what you can expect to earn and what benefits you can expect to receive in these fields, and what you can do to prepare for them.
Region Transit Authority
I strongly encourage residents join me in attending the Regional Transit Authority’s meeting at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak on Thursday, October 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. The meeting will focus on the development of the Regional Transit Authority’s master plan.
If you’re not able to attend this meeting, the Reginal Transit Authority will also be holding meetings on:
· Oct. 19 at Wayne County Community College District, Downriver Campus in Taylor from 4 to 8 p.m.
· Oct. 20 at the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority in Ann Arbor from 4 to 8 p.m.
· Oct. 21 at the Velocity Center, Oakland University Incubator in Sterling Heights from 4 to 8 p.m.
· Oct. 24 at the Michigan State University Center in Detroit from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Please join me for coffee and conversation on Friday, Oct. 23 at Sero’s Restaurant (375 W. 12 Mile Road) in Madison Heights from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
As a friendly reminder, this year I will be holding Coffee Hours on the 2nd and 4th Friday each month:
2nd Friday of Each Month at 8:30 a.m.
Bean and Leaf Café
106 S. Main St. in Royal Oak
4th Friday of Each Month at 8:30 a.m.
375 W. 12 Mile Road in Madison Heights
Please note that Coffee Hours will not be held the week of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hope you have the opportunity to come out and visit with us as we discuss the issues facing our communities and state!
As always, please feel free to contact my office should I be of assistance.
State Representative Jim Townsend
26th House District