Why Johnny Can’t Read

An increasing number of States are looking at passing laws blocking third-graders who can’t read (well enough) from being passed on to fourth grade.

Tennessee, Michigan, and North Carolina are among at least 16 states that have tried in recent years to use reading tests and laws requiring students to repeat third grade to improve literacy. Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and Nevada have all passed similar laws that will go into effect in the coming years.

Those laws, too, typically include extra tutoring, summer school, and…teacher training (what a concept that last is).

Johnny’s troubles began long before the Wuhan Virus Situation, but the school lockouts lockdowns during that period exacerbated the problem, and they were made manifest when parents, as a result of being locked out of their jobs at the same time, were able to see what actually was happening with their children’s “schooling.” Johnny’s situation was made even more obvious he went back to in-person school.

Know Betters and Coddlers, of course, object. Katherine Bike, a Knox County, TN, school board member, is typical:

I understand they might want to be tackling learning loss, but it’s truly the wrong way to do it. I think the whole thing is unfair.

Her idea of fair: she successfully “appealed” to keep her son from repeating third grade. Because promoting unqualified children to the next grade is what’s fair.

The Know Betters and Coddlers’ fear of what happens when Johnny is held back:

a defeated 18-year-old high-school junior dropping out against [Johnny’s mother’s] wishes.

No. The 18-year-old high-school junior will be defeated by his inability to read, not by his being a year or two older than his classmates.

This is the modern reason why Johhny can’t read. Know Betters and Coddlers don’t care that “can’t read” means can’t read.

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