Meeting the Adolescent Literacy Challenge
According to a March 2015 research report released by the Statistics Brain Research Institute 8,300 students drop out of U.S. high schools every day, which equates to 3,030,000 dropouts annually.
Children who are not reading proficiently by the fourth grade are four times more apt to drop out than others and, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 34 percent of America’s fourth graders read at grade level. It stands to reason that, if a student can’t read with confidence in the fourth grade, school is only going to get more challenging.
A recent study from the American Educational Research Association reported that low reading skills cause more students to drop out of high school before receiving a diploma than do the challenges of poverty. In fact, 16% of students, overall, do not receive a diploma by age 19, but students who struggle with reading in the first few years of elementary school comprise 88% of those who do not receive a diploma. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Longitudinal Study of Youth.)
Using Online Learning to Address “Below Basic” Reading Levels
Sixty percent of all U.S. fourth graders scored “below proficient” or “not reading at grade level” on the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) reading test. Based on the same 2013 assessment, approximately 22 percent of eighth graders scored below the “basic” level and only 36 percent of eighth graders were at or above grade level. In fact, according to a 2013 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults, or 14% of the U.S. population, can’t read. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read.
Based on more than ten years’ online learning experience and in collaboration with leading experts in the field of adolescent literacy, Global Student Network is uniquely poised to offer solutions to schools working to meet the needs of struggling readers.
Building Proficiency in Reading Comprehension and Writing
GSN’s English Foundations courseware is specifically designed to provide structured reading and writing remediation and address the needs of both below-basic and below-proficient readers ages thirteen and older. English Foundations courses focus on developing reading skills and strategies while providing opportunities for extensive practice and formative feedback aimed at building student confidence. Coursework focuses on the development of reading comprehension skills and strategies as well as writing and composition. Text and skill levels increase within the study modules with the goal of raising proficiency to a high school level.
Supporting Success in Required High School Courses
GSN’s Literacy Advantage courses enable below-proficient readers to comprehend grade-level academic content and progress in standards-based high school math, science, English and social studies. Content comprehension is built up via the use of controlled vocabulary and syntax exercises; the option to listen to instructional text read aloud in English (and in Spanish for math courses); and support for new vocabulary development. Explicit reading comprehension and vocabulary building strategies assist students in improving literacy skills.