Help third-graders by holding them back?

As Gov. Sam Brownback’s task force prepares to study how much K-12 funding reaches classrooms, state Rep. Steve Huebert, R-Valley Center, is looking at legislation that would keep academically lagging third-graders from moving to fourth-grade classrooms unless their parents sign an opt-out form. Huebert also told Associated Press that he wants the state to commit some of its education money to reading interventions. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia reportedly require third-graders to read at a certain level before they can go on to fourth grade. Brownback, who has set a goal of increasing the percentage of fourth-graders reading at grade level, has expressed an interest in such a retention policy, according to Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker. Kansas State Board of Education chairman David Dennis of Wichita suggested such intervention should target younger students. By retaining third-graders, “You’ve almost closed the door after the horse has already left,” Dennis told AP.