, Muskogee, OK

April 30, 2014

THE PEOPLE SPEAK - Reading requirement standards don’t work

— My soapbox just got a little bit higher, a little bit longer, and a little bit wider. We cannot miss being made aware of what is happening in the world. Wars and threats of same, political posturing between and among nations of great strength and resources, natural disasters of tremendous magnitude, the violence of mankind against humanity, as a few young children garner their share of headlines.

As a former teacher, literacy tutor and trainer, this writer is wondering how some people can dictate and mandate what an eight-year old child can and should be able to do when it comes to reading on a certain level. To be sure, there are measurement tools which are fairly accurate for evaluating basic reading skills. Learning to read is an individually internalized process. Children are not machines or robots. There can be other reasons for holding a child back in our grade-lock-step system. But to arbitrarily hold a child back because of a grade level (reading) requirement standard does not work. This writer started with Dick and Jane.