Higgins a practical, thoughtful candidate

To the editor:
I recently viewed a debate between two candidates for Michigan’s State Representative 59th district seat, Carol Higgins and Aaron Miller (incumbent). I was drawn to their comments about education, as both are former teachers.
Miller described a bill, now passed the house, which he voted for requiring third graders to pass a specific reading test or be held back.
Higgins’ response was to point out that, instead of more multiple choice testing which some students don’t do well on, she would recommend a program called “Reading Recovery” that has had proven success.
I was so impressed by Higgins’ knowledge of this program and practical problem-solving for Michigan grade-schoolers who may be lagging behind. I believe that school children don’t need another test which is too little and too late to help solve a problem of poor reading skills.
I have personal experience with the Reading Recovery program as a volunteer reading coach in an elementary school in Elkhart, Ind. The program is for first graders who are not reading at grade level and includes frequent one-on-one, half hour reading sessions with a trained teacher or volunteers like me. Students’ families must commit to also read with them at home. My experience is that students greatly benefit from this individual attention and I have seen students progress to read at grade level.
Kudos to Carol Higgins. Michigan voters in the 59th district should vote for her as a practical and thoughtful candidate who can make a difference.

Ann Tideman


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