Almost half the students in Fort Worth schools can’t read at grade level

Dang le

Fort Worth resident Maria Gonzalez knew her daughter’s grades were off. 

Gonzalez’s 8-year-old daughter, Citlalic, got perfect scores at school. Her teacher said she was doing great. 

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But Gonzalez knew something else from observation — her daughter couldn’t read. 

“I guess I was just, in a way, making it easier for me, because I was just going through what they were telling me,” she said.  

Gonzalez was among about three dozen parents who flew balloons at Ella Mae Shamblee Library to mourn Fort Worth’s low literacy rate. Only 44% of students across all school districts and charters in the city of Fort Worth are reading at grade level. The next day, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker proclaimed Sept. 8 as International Literacy Day in the city.

Fort Worth is committed to students’ success by creating youth library programming, providing free community Wi-Fi in underserved neighborhoods and providing safe walking routes to schools, Parker said.

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

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