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Teacher’s union officials hope for 2-year delay of Alabama Literacy Act

New reaction to bill to delay Alabama Literacy Act
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 9:46 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 5, 2022 at 2:43 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Senate voted to delay the Literacy Act until the 2023/2024 school year. It’s a bill that would hold back any third-grade student who isn’t meeting reading requirements.

Officials with the American Federation of Teachers said students across the state are still behind from the pandemic, especially when it comes to math and reading. They said any placement tests this year wouldn’t be fair or accurate.

Right now, The Alabama Literacy Act calls on third graders to pass a reading test to move onto the next grade level. If they do not pass the test, students will be held back one year.

AFT President Marrianne Hayward said students and teachers are still catching up and it’s too demanding to require the test this school year. She said it is a lot of extra paperwork for third grade teachers.

She supports the state Senate’s decision to delay the act two years. She said that will be enough time for everyone to get prepared if the delay gets signed by the Governor.

Hayward said if students are able to advance now, teachers will still work to catch them up under the guidelines of the act.

“When they move to the fourth grade, those teachers will have remediation plans in place,” Hayward said. “They will bring those students up to where they need to be. They will still be working on those guidelines and working towards those goals, it’ll just be happening over a period of third grade and fourth grade.”

The Literacy Act Bill is now waiting for approval from the House Education Committee, but Hayward said they are pushing for just a one-year delay. She said that is not enough for third graders to be ready because of the COVID slide.

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