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Seize the Moment: The Need for a Comprehensive Federal Investment in Adolescent Literacy

Jul 01, 2009


Although Congress has dedicated substantial funds over the past decade to improve reading skills for struggling students in kindergarten through grade three, this targeted investment has not resulted in the final goal—ensuring students leave high school prepared for college and careers. In fact, six out of twenty-two million of America’s middle and high school students are struggling readers. Educators are now beginning to recognize that the teaching of reading and writing cannot end at third grade; children need intensive, high-quality literacy instruction before they enter kindergarten until the time they graduate after twelfth grade. This brief examines the adolescent literacy crisis and why literacy really does matter, especially at the secondary level. Student needs are outlined to inform the implementation of quality literacy programs and federal policy recommendations are made to encourage the federal government to advocate for a comprehensive, national, schoolwide focus on adolescent literacy.

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.