THE PROBLEM > National Reading Crisis
Only a tiny percentage of teachers are genuinely trained to teach reading skills. Our education system fails to train them.
66% of our students fail to reach grade level reading skills by 4th grade. They rarely catch up.
46% of our children require explicit, multi-sensory reading instruction; ALL students in Grades 1-12 would benefit from this approach as well.
14% of our adult population do not read well enough to fill out a job application.
32 million Americans are illiterate.
Anyone who can't read well enough to fill out a job application, is more likely to be unemployed and living in poverty, and ultimately may commit crimes and end up in prison.
Breaking the problem down:
- The value of explicit, multi-sensory reading instruction is questioned or ignored by educators, and our colleges and graduate schools that teach future teachers don’t generally offer substantive training in explicit, multi-sensory reading instruction methods (To learn more, read Leaving Johnny Behind, Anthony Pedriana, and Language at the Speed of Sight, Mark Seidenberg).
- Professors can't teach what they don't know. Dr. Emily Suzanne Binks conducted a sample survey of teacher education professors, and of all subjects, they scored lowest in their understanding of phonics and morphology.
- The majority of states don't have teacher certification standards that include training requirements in explicit, multi-sensory reading instruction methods.
- Continuing education for teachers is ineffective and under funded. On-the-job training provided by the education system is not successful at improving teacher skills. Only nine out of 1,200 professional development programs recently studied by The New Teacher Project were considered effective.
- Our education system is challenged to change from within. Education is underfunded at both the national and local level. Even the biggest foundations cannot fully fund system reform. (US. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, Huffington Post 9/6/13)