Do we really need reading instruction in high school?

I recently read something about a school district in Alabama that has developed a program to help high school students who struggle with reading comprehension skills. Surely, I thought, by the time students get to high school they understand what they are reading. But that isn’t the case.

According to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), reading achievement stalls in the upper grades. A number of students, it found, don’t have what they need to be proficient at their grade level. While students in the upper grades have more complex reading material, advanced reading instruction is rarely taught.

According to the Center, “Making the jump to advanced reading shouldn’t be something students have to figure out on their own.” Its guide, Still learning: Reading beyond grade three looks at how to identify struggling readers, sources of reading difficulties, strategies for students with reading disabilities, and the need for teaching advanced reading skills.

The guide includes handouts you can use to build fluency, enhance comprehension, and expand vocabulary. As we all know, advanced reading skills are critical for success not only in high school, but also in life after high school. Teaching advanced reading skills in high schools is just a common-sense strategy!

Pamela Karwasinski

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