Improving the American Literacy Rate

Improving the American Literacy Rate

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Mary Do started this petition to Department of Education

Among first world countries, the US is an anomaly in terms of literacy. While European countries like Poland and our neighbor Canada achieve literacy rates of almost 100%, the US literacy rate is 86%:

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-highest-literacy-rates-in-the-world.html

An illiterate American will have trouble finding work, understanding current issues, and participating fully in their community, state, and country. Low literacy rates correlate with many issues our country is facing, especially crime and poverty:

https://www.begintoread.com/research/literacystatistics.html

We need to actively fight against illiteracy. The biggest issue is "How?" 

I propose developing a curriculum for teaching reading more effectively. There is much scientific literature describing effective ways to teach and learn how to read. I also propose that we look to the states (or maybe even other countries) that have the lowest illiteracy rates and borrow from their curriculum. What do they do that works? Different schools teach reading differently, and oftentimes, methods can contradict what research recommends. For example, the use of phonics in teaching reading: https://hechingerreport.org/kids-struggle-to-read-when-schools-leave-phonics-out/

Once we have a good program, we make it nationwide, re-evaluating it every few years to see if it can't be improved. This is probably the most straightforward way to reduce the number of illiterate students.

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