Place focus on reading [Letter]

In your editorial, "Ready to learn more" (Aug. 18), you correctly pointed out the vicious cycle of deficits at each grade level which makes it impossible for students to achieve success. One huge deficit begins at the elementary level with reading instruction. There is nothing more important for future success than reading, and if our students are not fluent readers by grade three, they will always be behind.

Baltimore City schools chief Gregory Thornton should include professional development in reading for all elementary school teachers in his team focus. Many of our teachers do not have the foundation of reading skills necessary to be effective in the classroom. In every other profession, there is a test of knowledge which is required in order to practice. There is no test of reading knowledge required of elementary school teachers to be certified in the state of Maryland.

Barbara Donick, Baltimore

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