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Furman professor: Read to Succeed retention policy ‘a disaster’

Paul Thomas, Furman University Department of Education

Provisions of South Carolina’s Read to Succeed Act may lead to grade retention this school year for many third graders. Through Read to Succeed, thousands of South Carolina students attend summer reading camps, go on field trips and receive free books. But the Act also calls for holding back children who don’t demonstrate reading proficiency by the end of third grade. Paul Hyde of The Greenville News spoke to Furman University Education professor Paul Thomas about the law. Said Thomas, “It’s a very punitive approach to third-grade reading based in part or solely on test scores. There’s probably 40 to 60 years of research that is strongly against grade retention. It has incredibly negative, long-term consequences.”

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