A state alliance made up of the Mississippi Department of Education and several education groups will announce a new initiative adding more emphasis to grade-level reading.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, University of Mississippi Center for Excellence in Literacy Instruction, Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison and the Mississippi Department of Education will announce the news Nov. 29 at 9:30 a.m. at the State Capitol in Jackson.

According to Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act, or the third-grade reading gate. a student scoring at the lowest achievement level on the 3rd Grade Reading Summative Assessment must be retained in 3rd grade.

In 2016, the law was amended to require students beginning in the 2018 school year to score above the lowest two achievement levels to be promoted to the 4th grade.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading helps communities and schools collaborate to promote opportunities for students to improve their reading skills.

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Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.

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