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Schools need effort, not money, to raise reading skills

Maryland students’ reading scores on a key national exam declined this year, new data shows, mirroring a troubling trend apparent in dozens of states.
Maryland students’ reading scores on a key national exam declined this year, new data shows, mirroring a troubling trend apparent in dozens of states. (Getty Images)

Please tell me what tools schools need to teach a child to read? If I remember correctly, in my day it was a book or two, and the alphabet written across the blackboard, and pretty soon every kid could read. So now tell me why we need $4 billion to teach more than 13% of fourth graders and 15% of eight graders to read proficiently (“'Frankly, devastating’: Maryland reading scores decline on national assessment," Oct. 30)?

Yes, I was blessed to go to a private school, but what was the difference? Nurturing parents, showing up every day, respect and effort are the answer. Four billion dollars doesn’t buy that. Maybe all the Democratic administrations that duped everyone into thinking Maryland was one of the top performing states by not including special education scores in rankings, like other states did, should consider my point and focus on real answers to why our kids are not educated (“Md. excluded large number of special-education students in national test,” Nov. 16, 2013).

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Bruce Rice, Towson

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