Commentary: Solving the Literacy Crisis


Learning to read is trending. The most fundamental of K-12 subjects is fueling YouTube videos and feature stories in People magazine and is now the subject of a report from Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Let’s hope the renewed interest spreads, because a shocking proportion of American children cannot read, and the data have profound implications for these children’s futures—and the entire criminal justice system.

Oliver James is the former convict who announced on social media that he taught himself to read as an adult, which sparked media coverage on how learning to read changed his life. As a student, James had been passed along from grade to grade without learning this basic skill.

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