Hello Ralph — You asked a great question, What's the minimum reading ability to get along in this world?
This is exactly the same question I asked myself when I began teaching reading right out of college. I have been asking it ever since and have found out a few things:
- Reading at grade level by 3rd grade roughly translates to average performance in school. We used to call those Cs.
- Students who can read one year above grade level get Bs. Students who earn As read two or more years above grade level.
- Who are the students who are best able to continue their educations and hold jobs with a future? The A students. It's a meritorious world.
Therefor, I believe the minimum for getting along in this world is Two Years Above Grade Level.
I think this holds true, roughly, through all of life. The successful people I know are all good readers and writers who can organize information. The bulk of the people on my hero list all learned to read and write well.
All the data clearly shows that strong and active readers have a much better chance of continuing their educations and holding jobs with a future.
Our ed schools are wrestling with this imperative, but can't graduate enough strong reading and math teachers. Master teachers are so scarce that it's become imperative for all of us to become master teachers. Our kids and students love it when they experience success.
Let the word go forth from this time and place, We're gonna teach all kids to read.