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Literacy in Virginia: Observations on Reading First

Forty million Americans — a million right here in Virginia — have such low reading skills that they are fundamentally illiterate. Can we upgrade the skills of our workforce and imporve the efficiency and effectiveness of Virginia’s investment in public education?

Yes, we can, says this new report. In Virginia schools that have used the federal Reading First program, the failure rate for third grade children has been cut in half, from 41 percent to 21 percent in just two years. As Congress considers reauthorization of Reading First as part of No Child Left Behind, it should consider the positive impact it has had on preparing children for life in the 21st Century.

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