John Corcoran made a splash in the 1990s with his memoir, The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read. A vivid account of his nearly five-decade struggle to conceal his illiteracy — and of his first successful attempts to read, at age 48 — the book thrust Corcoran into the national spotlight.
He appeared on 20/20, Oprah and Larry King Live, was profiled in Esquire and became the only “adult learner” to serve on the advisory board of the National Institute for Literacy.
Now 70 and president of a charitable foundation bearing his name, Corcoran has a new book, The Bridge to Literacy (Kaplan Publishing, $24.95), which lays out his vision for eliminating illiteracy in the USA.
Corcoran has dubbed the book a “call to action” for literacy efforts and says reading programs need “a bigger, broader and more universal vision.” He says K-12 schools and universities must train principals and teachers — especially new teachers — in the most up-to-date, research-based reading instruction.