Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reading at Fourth-Grade Level? CCSD Welcomes You to High School

If you set the goal low enough, almost everyone can achieve it.

However, the Charleston County School District struggles to meet its own criterion that all incoming ninth graders will read at the fourth grade level. Despite focusing on literacy for the past few years, nearly 13 percent of the district's students read at or below the fourth-grade level. That would be bad enough if those students were spread evenly among CCSD's high schools. An additional problem is that they are clustered, often up to 40 percent of an entering class, in CCSD's lowest-performing schools. a

Below is an example of a fourth-grade reading worksheet. Remember that this is the goal for these students.

We don't know what percentage reads below the fourth-grade level. Here is third-grade level. Can you imagine this student reading a high school textbook?

It's way past time to get serious about reading. If students reading on this low a level pass their freshman classes, what does that suggest about the difficulty of what they are learning? What percentage of these students will actually graduate?

Time to fish or cut bait. Either put all students reading at fourth-grade level or below in the same classes in the same school and keep them there until each reads at least on the sixth-grade level or distribute them evenly over the district's high schools so that students reading at grade level or above need not face a class with a majority of poor readers.

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