English speaking countries are failing our students in first and second grade. More than 60% of our students, in all grades, are struggling with reading!
38% of 4th graders are functionally illiterate.
68% of eighth graders read below grade level.
Only 10% of adults are highly proficient readers.
We need to talk about reading education.
Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that students learn to read the same way they learn to speak, by being read to. This simply is not true.
Yet we know from studies performed by the NIH that systematic, explicit instruction of English results in only .02-6% of students struggling with reading. This is amazing. Yet we are not talking about and implementing what we know and have proven on a wide scale level.
As a nation we need to talk about the basic skill of reading. Children who cannot read are hurting. Many of them give up on themselves, believe they are stupid, and are difficult if not impossible to inspire. When we teach children to read well, we open the world to them.
Illiteracy is closely linked to dropout rates, prison rates, and welfare. In the same way, strong literacy skills are certainly linked to creativity, inspiration, dreams, freedom, and the future of our world.