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California's Reading Dilemma

EdSource Special Report

California’s Reading Dilemma

Above: Student Armando Garcia 9 prepares to read during a reading class at Ethel I. Baker Elementary School in Sacramento in June 2022.

California is embarking on an urgent effort to improve reading literacy for all children. The stakes are very high: research shows that students who aren’t reading at grade level by the third grade will struggle to catch up throughout their education career. Only 48.5% of third graders tested at grade level or above in English language arts during the 2018-19 school year, before the pandemic stalled all learning.


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