The nation faces a literacy crisis

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By Consuelo McAboy

As the trend for increasing educational and workforce demands continues, a new report shows that student's reading and writing skills are not keeping pace.

A new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education found that more than 60 percent of 12th grade students leave high school without advanced reading and writing skills.

In Michigan, 23 percent of 8th grade students have not mastered grade-level knowledge and skills.  That deficit puts students at a higher risk of dropping out.

Mariana Haynes is with the Alliance. She said the good news is that Michigan along with many other states adopted new common core state standards.

"These international benchmarks present the kind of advanced skill levels that are needed for students to be successful when they leave a high school and enter either the work place or colleges and it requires with a progression of increasingly complex information and text that couple these task demands so that students develop a deep understanding and are able to provide well reasons oral and written arguments."

Haynes said Michigan and 45 other states received federal funding to develop literacy programs in 2010.

However, she said additional funding has only been granted to a few states to keep the programs running. 

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