Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Reacts to Release of 2007 NAEP Reading Scores
Governor Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, issued this statement in reaction to today’s release of The Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2007 by the U.S. Department of Education:
“The reading scores released today demonstrate that where there’s effective investment, there’s improvement. The nation’s focus on early childhood and early elementary reading instruction is clearly paying off, with fourth-grade students showing steady gains. But for most students, the intensive instruction does not continue, and by the time they reach eighth grade, too many have lost the benefit of that early investment, as confirmed by today’s announcement.
“This is especially troubling because these are the students poised to start high school. They are unprepared to tackle the more sophisticated course work, more challenging texts, and other written materials they’ll encounter there. As a result, many of these high school students will make a decision that will adversely affect the rest of their lives – they will drop out.
“Improving reading and comprehension abilities at every grade is essential to ensuring that students stay in high school and graduate with diplomas that prepare them for college, the modern workplace, and success in life. The reading scores released today confirm that more must be done to help every child, particularly those in the middle and high school grades. And more can be done; federal legislation such as the recently introduced Striving Readers Act, for instance, has the potential to address the crisis by providing the resources for effective reading and writing programs in the later grades that will help all struggling students to achieve at higher levels.
“Let’s not squander impressive gains made in the early grades. Invest in all students – the return benefits us all.”
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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life.
For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit: www.all4ed.com.