Turning dropouts into All-Stars

It’s fitting that another round of NAEP reading scores came out last week, just as we are sitting down to pick this year’s nine READ 180 All-Stars.

It’s touching and inspiring to read personal essays we have recieved written by students who have turned their lives around by learning to read. There are the students who said they almost certainly would have dropped out if it weren’t for Read 180, the students born in foreign countries who are thrown into schools where no one speaks their native tongue, and the students who were in trouble with the law or suspended for bad behavior a year ago and now say they want to go to college. And there are stories of students like Michael Hale.

I think of stories like these when I read these nominations… They are evidence that any struggling student can turn his or her life around.

But I also am reminded of the statistics this week:

There’s a lot of work left to be done.

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