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Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Reacts to the Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2009

Press Release:

Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Reacts to the Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2009

In response to today’s release of the Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2009, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, made the following statement:

“While average reading scores for eighth-grade students are on the rise, far too many eighth graders are already showing signs of being left behind.

“The Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2009 indicates that one in four eighth-grade students read below the basic level. Not only are these students likely to struggle when they encounter more challenging coursework in high school, they are also likely candidates to leave school without a high school diploma.

“The results also show that only about one third of the nation’s eight graders read at a proficient level, which demonstrates ‘solid academic performance.’ To have nearly 70 percent of the nation’s eighth-grade students performing below this standard during a time when all students need to graduate career- and college-ready is unacceptable.

“The federal government must recognize the need to assist literacy efforts from kindergarten through high school instead of essentially focusing only on the early grades. As the Congress works to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this year, it should include the LEARN Act, which was introduced last year and would help ensure that children from birth to grade twelve have the reading and writing skills necessary for success in school and beyond.”

Results from the Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2009, including results for individual states, are available athttp://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_2009/.

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