I was saddened to hear that in Florida, only 72% of third-graders can read at grade level.
The Department of Education is excited.
Ok so what am I missing here? Why am I not happy?
Because 72% isn't good enough. 72% means that 28% aren't reading at grade level, if in fact they can read at all. Ask yourself "why aren't there more third graders reading at grade level?"
Sure there is likely a very small percentage of kids who have learning disabilities and it just takes them longer. How about all the other kids? What's their story?
Most kids don't just pick up reading on their own, somebody has to introduce them to it. I wonder about the demographics of that 28% of kids who can't read at grade level. How many come from single parent homes? How many have parents who have been in jail or are on drugs? How many of these homes don't have fathers in them? How many of the single moms or all parents for that matter have to work full time just to make ends meet and can hardly spend time with their kids in the evenings? How many parents of these kids just don't care? How many of their teachers shouldn't even be in the classroom with these kids?
For me reading was always second nature. I began reading when I was three years old, of course I understand that's not the norm, but I remember having books and reading from the time I was very young. Relatives sat me on their knee, my teachers had me and my classmates read aloud, we were always READING. We always had BOOKS available at home and school and we were encouraged to read often by EVERYONE. And we were encouraged to read everything and anything we could get our hands on. When I was in high school I'd read every single book in the young adult section of our high school library. I was so bored having nothing to read, I'd read them a second time!
I want an answer.
Why can't these kids read at the third-grade level?
It's a sin. We owe them more than that. We can do better.