"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
Check out these literacy stats:
-70% of prisoners fall into the lowest two levels of reading proficiency (National Institute for Literacy, 1998).
-More than 60 percent of all prison inmates are functionally illiterate.
-Monitor and respond to chronic absenteeism in pre-K and kindergarten. The kids most at risk are the ones missing 25 to 30 days a year. If we don't intervene, those are our future dropouts.
-60% of Urban School Children do not graduate from High School. 40% of those who do -- read at only at a 4th grade level.
-2/3 of students that are not reading proficiently by the end of 4th grade will be in jail or welfare.
-Black and Hispanic students who were not proficient readers in third grade were less likely to graduate from high school.
It is statistics like these, and more, that wake us each morning motivated! They help us recognize our purpose as educators and how powerful we are to our students. This data forces us to instruct with meaning, purpose, and intent. Single handily, our students’ literacy capacity is the difference between poverty and wealth.
What other conclusions can your draw from the literacy data presented? What questions do you have? What else would you like to know?
-Rodney S. Lewis, Ed.D.