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Contact: Betsy Pilon, Director of Public Relations
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State Reading Law Misses Mark, Highlights Need for Training
and Deeper Understanding of Student Needs
Birmingham, Mich. -- With the new “Read by Grade Three” law taking effect this Fall, public schools are tasked to ensure students are assessed and held accountable for literacy, or face additional supports or retention for students who do not meet these standards.
While this new law brings necessary attention to the importance of teaching literacy skills effectively to all students, it misses the mark of how students in need are identified and places consequences solely on the students who do not achieve at a particular level of reading.
“There is substantial peer-reviewed evidence that suggests retention doesn’t improve academic achievement, and even more, there is compelling research that suggests that it can be harmful to students, which will actually continually hold them back from their own success and potential,” states Pete Pullen, Head of School, at Eton Academy.
Eton Academy, a school that serves students in grades 1-12 in Birmingham, has a strong track record of success with educating students who learn differently for over thirty years. Through the Eton Approach™, teachers take decades of peer-reviewed, evidence-based research that shows delivering direct, explicit, multi-sensory instruction, not only improves the reading skills of struggling students, it enhances learning for all students.
“Utilizing this whole-child approach to learning, coupled with evidence-based research and highly-trained teachers, we are able to get to the root issue in student’s learning. Our teachers directly and explicitly teach strategies that empower each student to find success. These components are a necessity for students to reach their potential. All schools can benefit from this approach; they need the resources and training to do so for this law to successfully help students move forward in their education,” states Pullen.
In many cases, students who struggle in reading are also impacted by other challenges. It is not uncommon for teachers at Eton to discover that a student who has been identified as having a reading disability actually is struggling with something entirely different that is causing their reading challenge.
“We want to ensure all students, and especially those with learning differences, have teachers that are trained in supporting how they learn. Through our Center programs, we are successfully partnering with schools and school districts to phase in these important and effective approaches to improve their students’ literacy and learning skills,” states Pullen.
About Eton Academy
Founded in 1986, Eton Academy is an award-winning, independent co-educational day school in Birmingham, Mich. for students who learn differently in grades 1-12. Its research-based curriculum, small classes sizes of up to ten students, extensive teacher training and strong partnership between parents and teachers contribute to Eton’s stellar track record for student and family success.
As an outgrowth of the mission of Eton Academy, the Hartmann-Eton Center for Teaching and Learning was launched in 2016, and offers tutoring based on the Eton principles, consulting with schools and school districts, and training for teachers outside of Eton Academy.