Only three out of ten eighth graders read
at or above grade level according to the 2004 National Assessment
of Educational Progress. Readers who fell significantly behind
risk school and workplace failure.
In 2003 three fourths of high school students
graduated in four years, the National Center for Education statistics
reports; the previous year just over half of African American
and Hispanic students graduated at all.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act has set
aside more than one billion dollars for Reading First established
to provide comprehensive instruction in poor schools through
Thanks to Reading First and its precursor,
the Reading Excellence Act, says Susan Frost, an education consultant
and a former president of the Alliance for Excellent Education,
"every K-3 teacher can receive the professional development
necessary to teach reading well."
(excerpt from "Why Johnny (Still) Can't
Read", Carol Guensburg, edutopia.org)