“To a child who doesn’t read,” the nearly 50-year-old public service television advertisement intoned, “the world is a closed book. Drifting, dropping back, dropping out. Once you start a child reading, there’s no stopping them. If America is to grow up thinking, reading is fundamental.”
The commercials were made on behalf of a now 55-year-old organization called Reading Is Fundamental, the country’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit whose goal is to ensure that children have the ability to read and succeed.
As a country, as a state and as a county, though, we’re not making the reading progress we should. In some ways, we’re probably going backward.
The reading proficiency scores for Hamilton County third-grade students were released recently, and what they revealed flies in the face of some of the hoopla the school district trumpeted earlier this fall with its announcement of schools that increased achievement, schools that met or exceeded growth standards and teachers whose classes met or exceeded growth standards.
“The district [now] is in a completely different place,” Dr. Nakia Towns, interim schools superintendent, said at the time.
The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”
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