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The Huffington Post – Regina Jackson

“Imagine a classroom blustering with energy. All hands up in the air. Why are they excited? It’s reading time! The enthusiasm of an engaged, confident reader is infectious. They cannot wait to travel through books, to make discoveries, and to unlock mysteries. Yes, the enthusiastic reader is like finding a pot of gold… Unfortunately, many classrooms in Oakland do not look like this yet. In OUSD, nearly two-thirds of third graders are reading below grade level. For our African American and Latino students, that number is even lower with 30% of African American third graders proficient in reading and only 25% for Latinos. These numbers hit even harder when you realize that politicians use third grade reading proficiency as an indicator of the likelihood of graduating from high school and even being incarcerated. The school to prison pipeline is REAL. These numbers tell us that our classrooms in Oakland are not yet brimming with the enthusiastic, confident readers we hope for.”(more)

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