Loading...
No Bless Your Heart to the numbskull wbo said the De o ratNo Bless Your Heart to the person who said the Democratics...

Read and weep about the state's reading program

101518aydenm

Ayden Middle School sixth-graders sample different books in the media center during a “Progressive Book Tasting” to expand their reading tastes.

Loading…

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Children in North Carolina aren’t learning to read fast enough or well enough. The state has invested millions. Hands are wringing, and heads are hitting hard against the wall. “Success” can’t be claimed if a third-grader can’t read the word and know what it means.

And so the $150 million the state spent on its Read to Achieve program is being bemoaned as a huge failure and waste of state revenue.

Implemented by the General Assembly in 2012 on the model of “Just Read, Florida,” which then-Gov. Jeb Bush introduced in Florida in 2012, Read to Achieve was designed to ensure students didn’t advance through grade levels without being able to comprehend material. Its goal was that students would not be promoted for being well-behaved when they were anything but well-read.

But read these results: Since the program began, the percentage of third- and fourth-graders who passed state reading exams either was flat or declined. Follow-up research suggests that no particular effort is proving successful. State educators aren’t giving up, but you can bet that legislators — who direct funds to these programs — will be reading these tea leaves and looking for a new future.

“We will continue to use data-driven analyses, including feedback from class room teachers, to drive changes,” state Superintendent Mark Johnson said in a release last week.

“We have an obligation to these students to act with urgency and pursue innovative strategies to ensure every child can read well by the end of third grade.”

There is much to be done, and there needs to be no absence of focus. N.C. State has invested $28 million through its Wolfpack Works for a grant program designed to improve the skill of teaching reading, The News & Observer in Raleigh reported. The Guilford County Board of Education just last year approved $2 million for reading programs to address the decline by third-graders.

More research is being done, as Johnson suggests, and more programs for first- and second-graders might be helpful. But frankly that might be too late. If a child’s life doesn’t include reading by his or her pre-K years, if books can’t be brought to life and the reinforcement of effort for reward isn’t taught, then the goal already is out of sight.

That experts suggest failure to read adequately by third grade endangers the ability to absorb curricula should underscore how deep this foundation must be poured.

The fact is that it’s difficult to teach a child to read, no matter the talents of the teacher or the student, when reading is so devalued in society. Literacy is a far cry from what it was before electronic media began to steal time and diminish the commitment to subjects, verbs and adjectives as a vital process.

Too many parents don’t read for their own edification, so by example children don’t learn the habit. Even more parents don’t have time to read to or with their children, either. Without Winnie the Pooh at bedtime, you may have bare readers in the classroom.

We fear that the literacy of our students may take an even more troubling turn.

Have you noticed how young people prefer to communicate through text messages that are highlighted with emojis, the hieroglyphics of today, in place of actual words? Could this mean that dialogue will follow reading into a verbal winter? Will generations of the future use thoughts to communicate without a word being spoken?

Maybe so, but frighteningly few will read about it.

The News & Record of Greensboro

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

January 22, 2019

The day to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s life seems an appropriate moment to update the progress observed along the long road to racial equality while recognizing acts of courage seen in the spirit of King’s life. One such example came just last week on the campus of UNC-Chapel…

Confederate Monument-Protest

January 22, 2019

North Carolina’s highest court will soon decide whether defendants who believe they were wrongfully convicted have the right to complain to the jurors who sat in judgment.

A three-judge N.C. Court of Appeals panel upheld the state’s problematically vague juror harassment law in a 2-1…

2016FactbookXXX

January 18, 2019

For lawmakers looking for a way to end the longest government shutdown in history, we have a suggestion. Google the 13th Amendment and read what it says. It’s just one sentence.

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have…

eleanorclift.jpg

January 18, 2019

What is among the most nagging, gear-grinding frustrations generated by the Great Government Shutdown is that the folks in Washington will do nothing about it except whine.

The shutdown will enter its 28th day today. Apparently, the impasse is over funding to build for a wall between Mexico and the…

Government Shutdown-3

January 17, 2019

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt has displayed patience and grace in navigating the various pressures from the UNC System Board of Governors and the leadership of the General Assembly. It has been particularly evident in addressing the controversy over the fate of the “Silent Sam”…

Confederate Monuments North Carolina

January 16, 2019

Two weeks into this new session of Congress and we’re no closer to knowing who will represent North Carolina’s 9th District in the House of Representatives. Nor do we know who will make the final call on how the seat will be filled or who will fill it. Will it be the state’s board…

Election 2018 9th Congressional District-2

January 14, 2019

Since 1990, lions, tigers and other big cats have killed 24 people ... in the United States.

The latest fatality occurred one week ago near Burlington, when a captive lion attacked and killed an intern at a wildlife center.

Alexandra Black, 22, who had been on the job for only two weeks, was…

Lion Attack-1

January 13, 2019

How fitting is it that President Trump’s first Oval Office address was aimed at stirring up the American public about a crisis largely of his own making?

Pursuing poorly thought-out and even more poorly executed policies on the pretext of battling a nonexistent national security crisis, Trump…

Government Shutdown Trump

January 12, 2019

A federal court ruling in Iowa could signal the unraveling of North Caroina’s harsh, punitive and shortsighted anti-whistleblower law.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa on Wednesday struck down that state’s ag-gag law because if violated the First Amendment. The…

January 11, 2019

When North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders have seen their work struck down in court as unconstitutional — as they have many times — they have frequently responded by attacking the judge or judges as partisan hacks.

That approach won’t work if the conservative-…

Supreme Court Kavanaugh
87 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»