MAY 27, 2005 - Posted at 4:34 p.m. CDT
WASHINGTON - A Washington-based research group says about a third of Arkansas eighth graders won't be going on to graduate from high school. By then, they will have already left school because they couldn't read well enough to understand the material in their textbooks or to complete their assignments. The information comes from the Alliance for Excellent Education. According to the alliance, only 40 percent of entering ninth graders in Arkansas will graduate in four years with the basic knowledge they need for college.
The group says over six million eighth graders nationwide read significantly below grade level and are much more likely to drop out of high school than students who can read well. Bob Wise, who heads the alliance, says there's clearly a connection between literacy levels and staying in school.