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Literacy Skills Are Scarce: Can We Save Them?

1224 words - 5 pages

Literacy Skills Are Scarce: Can We Save Them?
Literacy skills in high schools are becoming scarce. Students have become more involved in technology and shortcuts rather than learning materials that he or she will need throughout the rest of their lives. Many high school students lack the reading and writing skills that they need in order to further their education and progress into the workforce. “The percent of Denver Public Schools high school students reading at grade level dropped between 2002 and 2005, from 40 percent to 37 percent” (Hubbard and Mitchell par. 4). The statistics shown for just three short years says a lot about our education system and how educators need to do more to ...view middle of the document...

22). These requirements leave out the students whose scores are slowly decreasing. A lot of students will not drastically decline in his or her reading or writing levels. Throughout their high school career these students can easily fall behind in literary comprehension. When taking a closer look at each and every score, students will be able to get the help they need as soon as possible. It is a lot easier to find a solution when the problem starts as opposed to a few years down the road when the problem is a lot bigger.
Although researchers have shown that RTI can be helpful, there are still some flaws. Secondary schools would benefit from RTI and literacy programs but the schedule of classes make it difficult to put in action. High schools are on a block schedule where there is a certain amount of time for each class period. It is more difficult working with students only a few times a week than in primary schools where the students are not on a block schedule. The scheduling and time management required make these programs more difficult to work into higher education. That being said, there hasn’t been a lot of research done about helping older students and not every student has gotten the help that was intended (Brozo 280). These flaws can be easily fixed though. If more research was done in secondary schools than in primary schools, researchers could find ways around schedules and figure out how to make this program more effective for high school students.
In high school, I assisted in a literacy class specifically focused on students whose literacy scores were below average. The main focus of the class was to help the students read and comprehend what they were reading. The structure of the class was very simple and it helped most of the students. Every day, there would be a prompt on the board and each student had to write a page response. Some prompts were simply questions regarding the weekend and others were regarding the books they were reading. The class was focused mainly on reading comprehension so the students had to bring a book to read every day. Once a week, we would get together in small groups and discuss the books that they were reading. The students had to write three questions that could spark a conversation, and bring it to the group discussion. When the semester was over, the kids took a literacy test and most of their scores went up. If this simple class could help a group of thirty students with below grade-level reading skills, imagine what these programs could do for other students.
Reading and writing have become big problems in education...

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