Archive for the ‘Video’ Category
March 4th, 2013
Last Thursday, during a hearing on truancy in our schools, City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said “The 9th grade truancy is due to illiteracy. To deal with that illiteracy, you’re either going to have to do something remarkable with the 9th graders or you’re going to have to improve literacy at the lower grades and that way reduce the numbers [of truants].” Watch a video of the Chairman’s statement, here.
The city’s Literacy Gap is a growing concern for Defeat Poverty DC.
Literacy is the basis for all other education. Without the ability to read and analyze information, do math, communicate effectively, and use a computer – the pillars of literacy – people struggle to take part in the world around them. Low literacy is closely correlated with high school dropouts, low earnings, irregular employment, and, not surprisingly, poverty.
The limited literacy of District residents is a key predictor of truancy and a significant barrier to high school graduation and to stable work. A new study from the American Educational Research Association finds that a student who can’t read on grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time. Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peer.
Defeat Poverty DC is proud of our work highlighting the importance of early literacy as a cause of our high rates of truancy and low graduation rates. On February 12th, we testified before the Council of the District of Columbia, Committee of the Whole and Committee on Education on “Bill 20-072, The Attendance Accountability Amendment Act of 2013.” Our testimony highlighted the District’s literacy gap as a key reason for our city’s truancy problems, and we urged the Council to improve literacy by investing to ensure all 3rd graders read at grade level. On February 25th, along with our friends from The Literacy Lab, we met with Chairman Mendelson to encourage the Council to support increased investments in literacy.