STUDENT LITERACY OR ELSE

Mandate: ALL Students to Achieve Grade Level Reading Proficiency
-no excuses, no exceptions

MILLIONS OF AMERICAN CHILDREN reach fourth grade without learning to read proficiently. Science has provided clear and unwavering evidence that failure to learn to read by the third grade is a critical indicator of higher rates of school dropout that suppresses individual earning potential over a lifetime as well as the nation's competitiveness, productivity, innovation, and the economy.

Today only 33 percent of the nation's fourth grade students read at a proficient or advanced level (30% are proficient; 3% are advanced). This statistic is provided by the Nation's Report Card-NAEP. Failure to read proficiently is linked to higher rates of school dropout, higher reliance on social services, higher rates of incarceration, and greater risk of poor health conditions.

The U.S. students' literacy shortfall is spread among all children to include the community of children we call the SEEDS. The acronym SEEDS, with all its optimistic connotations, is a term that speaks to the potential of the students who don't easily learn to read-by no fault of their own, and in most cases nor is it the fault the teachers. It is marked by recent research that colleges of education provide few teaching candidates with data-validated knowledge and skill to teach reading to diverse populations of students.

The SEEDS community consists of Struggling readers and learners from all social groups, Economically disadvantaged youth, English language learners, and students with Dyslexia and Specific Learning Disabilities. SEEDS are the students who don't come easily to reading acquisition. Gold standard science has proven that all but a few percent of children can become grade level readers through differentiated instructional and tiers of support in general education classrooms.

The Power to Act: Transforming Literacy and Education

By Cinthia Coletti Haan

A powerful journey filled with a story of how to begin a movement for children's literacy-as a civil right, a human imperative, and for this great nation's citizens. Backed by startling facts, science and chapters written by colleagues on subjects of grassroots, legislation, and more.

EARLY WARNING! Why Reading Matters by the End of Third Grade

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

This report is powerful. Over the past decade, Americans have become increasingly concerned about the state of the nation's public school system. Just fewer than 20% of the U. S. young people have dropped out of high school. Every student who does not complete high school costs our society an estimated $260,000 in lost earning, taxes, and productivity over a lifetime.

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Is Retaining Students in the Early Grades Self-Defeating?

By Brookings Institute

Whether a child is a proficient reader by the third grade is an important indicator of their future academic success. Indeed, substantial evidence indicates that unless students establish basic reading skills by that time, the rest of their education will be an uphill struggle. This evidence has spurred efforts to ensure that all students receive high-quality reading instruction in and even before the early grades. It has also raised the uncomfortable question of how to respond when those efforts fail to occur or prove unsuccessful: Should students who have not acquired a basic level of reading proficiency by grade three be promoted along with their peers? Or should they be retained and provided with intensive interventions before moving on to the next grade?

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