CHARLIE MITCHELL: Mississippi finally gets serious about reading

It’s really yet clear whether Third Grade Gate will take Mississippi to a golden plateau in education management, but there can be little argument that it’s one heck of a solid start.

Florida and North Carolina have also piloted this approach. Mississippi could have gotten started with more energy way back in 2000. That’s when the Barksdale family got a tepid response to a $100 million pledge to support reading instruction for the youngest students. But it’s here now and here’s hoping the powers that be don’t water it down.

The adage is old, but true. For students who don’t read fairly well by fourth grade, every year is tougher. It’s not fair to move failing students along, only to keep failing at higher and higher levels.

One more thing: Here’s hoping no one says Third Grade Gate was Obama’s idea, or it will be doomed, too.