Gusciora: NJ Must Address Literacy Proficiency Problems Among Inner City Students

(TRENTON) — Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Hunterdon/Mercer) had the following published recently in the Newark Star-Ledger:

“The next generation hangs in the balance. If our students can’t read, they can’t work. If they can’t work, then they will turn to extralegal means of producing income, which reinforces the cycle of violence and recidivism that grips urban areas.

“The U.S. Department of Education acknowledges that “reading failure [exacts] a tremendous long-term consequence for children’s developing self-confidence and motivation to learn.” When the majority of a district’s youth perform below reading proficiency, the rest of their lives won’t be easy.

“I drafted a bill that would require the New Jersey Commissioner of Education to declare a state of emergency for school districts that are severely underperforming on standardized literacy proficiency tests. In doing so, we embrace the concept that reading is absolutely fundamental in a child’s development.”

To read the rest of Assemblyman Gusciora’s op-ed, click here.