The state of the Union, the news, everyone seems to be talking about how the United States is falling behind in math and science education. We have made huge efforts to push forward in math, creating honors math programs and funding science classes, but we are missing the root the problem: our failure to teach reading.
According to the Nation's Report Card, 69% of eighth graders read below grade level. If more than half of students cannot proficiently read (and write) in English, they will not be prepared to do higher level math and science. Reading and comprehending is essential to education. Students who are not proficient in English will not be able to comprehend word problems, dense science texts, and clearly communicate about complex scientific details.
The roots of our failures go back to our kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms where our students are not learning the foundations of how to read and write in English. Until we solve this problem, we will not solve the problem that the U.S. is beginning to lag in scientific development.
Recovering our position of innovation and advancement begins in our reading classrooms.