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Statement from Alliance President Bob Wise on the LEARN Act

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May 10, 2011 07:42 pm


Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) Act, a comprehensive literacy bill that would authorize $2.35 billion to support state and local programs to ensure that children from birth through grade twelve have the reading and writing skills necessary for success in school and beyond. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, issued the following statement:

“This critical legislation and strong federal investment will allow the nation to shift from a literacy lull to literacy for all. Currently half of the nation’s high school graduates are not prepared for college-level reading and American fifteen-year-olds rank fourteenth among developed nations in reading, trailing countries such as Poland and Estonia. In today’s global economy and 21st century workforce, literacy is an absolute precondition for success.

“The nation’s current approach to teaching reading is analogous to a builder helping to lay the foundation of a house, but not following through to assist with the walls, windows, doors, and roof. America’s elementary school students, on average, receive the academic and financial support to be proficient readers, but students are not  supported in building the vocabulary and comprehension skills they need to master the more complex materials they will encounter in middle and high school. By introducing the LEARN Act, Senator Murray is helping to correct this situation while also helping states provide students with a lifeline of literacy support from birth to grade twelve.”

More information on the LEARN Act is available here.

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