In June 2010, Strategies for Children, the organization I head, released “Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success,” a report we commissioned from Nonie Lesaux, a nationally known literacy expert at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Despite leading the nation on many educational indicators, almost 40 percent of Massachusetts third-graders read below grade level and the state has a wide and persistent achievement gap. In Boston, 63 percent of third-graders lag in reading, putting them at great risk of not finishing high school, attending college or contributing to our knowledge-based economy. Now, An Act Relative to Reading Proficiency (S.188/H.1853) creates an opportunity to act on Dr. Lesaux’s recommendations. On May 31, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education, which Jamaica Plain’s Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz co-chairs, will hold a hearing on this critical bill. If our children are to succeed and our city and commonwealth are to prosper, we must start early to provide all children with the strong start they deserve.
Founder and President, Strategies for Children