Legislative measures are being considered in at least four states to allow schools to retain students who are not proficient in reading by third grade. Critics of the proposals say retaining students increases their odds of dropping out, while supporters say promoting students who are struggling is not the answer. "We know it's hard on a child's self-esteem to be held back, but it's even harder on self-esteem to be illiterate," said Linda Fandel, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's special assistant on education.
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