Reading Is Fundamental

JACKSON, MS (Ben Caxton) — Students who are not proficient readers by the fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than classmates who finish, and students who live in poverty are three times more likely to drop out or fail to graduate on time than their peers. Five years ago Mississippi…a state with high poverty and low education rankings…passed the Literacy-Based Promotion Act, requiring all third-graders to pass the third-grade reading test in order to get promoted to the fourth grade. Last week Mississippi Today reported that the four elementary schools in the Coahoma County School District saw a more than 20 percent increase in literacy after offering individualized interventions to kids who are struggling readers. A grant from the Walton Family Foundation will allow the program to continue in the upcoming school year.


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