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Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Today the Board of Education discussed the important issue of literacy. During the discussion, we discussed how to improve literacy so that students can be better prepared for college and life after they graduate.

Some interesting facts from the presentation:

  • - 40% of high school graduates lack literacy skills that employers seek
  • - Lack of skills costs universities and businesses an estimated $16 billion per year
  • - 33% of fourth graders were proficient/advanced in reading on NAEP in 2009 (National Assessment of Education Progress) 
  • - 32% of eighth graders were proficient/advanced in reading on NAEP in 2009
  • - The most common problem in literacy is comprehension
We identified many challenges that MCPS faces, some of which include:
  • - Students may enter MCPS in high school after indicator tests such as MAP-R
  • - There are less measures of literacy and performance during high school than middle school
  • - Teachers not trained in teaching reading/writing may have to teach these skills to LEP students in addition to the teacher's normal subject
  • - Comprehension is key to all subjects and future success
  • - Reading and writing may have a stigma surrounding it
  • - Students may be proficient at reading but not comprehending
  • - Initial difficulty with reading and writing may discourage later effort
One of the issues regarding literacy that we discussed was the performance of different groups and increase in enrollment. With the budget crisis, it will be a challenge to deal with this increase in future years.

Here is some data from the presentation today regarding recent increases in enrollment. These slides were from today's presentation and can be seen in rebroadcasts of today's meeting. I did not create them; I merely formatted/grouped the slides into the below format. 


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