The youth of America requires writing and reading skills to find success in work, school and in life. The majority of students are capable of sounding out or decoding words on a page, but then many of them fail in mastering the critical writing and reading skills to master the meaning of what they are reading, to understand the use of high complex vocabulary or to write for different reasons
The statistics are concerning
These are the abilities they desperately need if they want to be successful in work after high school or college. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is called the Nation’s Report Card as well, approximately seventy percent of eighth grade students and sixty five percent of twelfth graders do not read at grade level. This interprets into about six million readers that are struggling in grades seven to twelve.
It should become a national priority to improve the advancement of older students to write and read at higher levels, particularly because the students in the lower quartiles of achievement are about twenty times more likely to drop out of school than the ones at the top.
Where is our investment in older children?
In current years, state and federal policymakers have headed significant resources to improve the advancement of literacy in the youngest students in the nation. They have a goal to help each kid master the basics of reading by the end of third grade.
These policy makers have not invested in older children. The results are clear: over the past few years the level of reading on national tests has gone higher in the early grades, but the advancement for the high school and middle school students has been idle.
Greater literacy demands today
There must be great investments made by the nation in writing and reading instruction in grades four to twelve. While we continue to invest substantial resources on preschool students and for grades k-3, no investment in adolescent literacy will also weaken the investments in the teaching of science, math and many other subjects.
The most important thing is that students tend to fade away in middle and high schools. They do not receive help to achieve success in their academics and also fail to get ready for a world further than high school. The twenty-five professions that are growing fast have a much higher than average demand of literacy, whereas the professions that are declining fast have a lower than average demand of literacy.