WE ARE FAILING OUR STRUGGLING READERS: WHY?

Published: Jan 16 2021

Currently, 2.4 million students are classified as having a learning disability and are receiving special education services. Up to 80% of these students (approximately 1,920,000) have some sort of reading disability. Approximately 3% to 5% of all students have a severe reading disability. In segregated special education settings, the general learning outcomes are lower than inclusive classrooms and reading achievement is not accelerated. The US Department of Education reported that in 2015, 70% of all students in grade 4 achieved below basic levels in reading. In 2017 it was 71%, and in 2019 it was 74%. The US Department of Education also reported that from 2002 to 2009 there were no statistically significant changes in the reading scores of students with disabilities in grades 4, 8, and 12. There are real people behind these numbers, just like Erik. Clearly, what we’re doing isn’t working. Yet the special education industry continues down the same path, insisting on costly testing and programming. Why? We are failing our struggling readers.