International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Lowering the High School Dropout Rate in the United States: The Need for Secondary Reading Specialists and How Scarce They Really Are
Carolyn L. Carlson

Abstract
Almost seven thousand students drop out of high school every day in the United States. The most common reason these students drop out is that their poor literacy skills prevent them from keeping up with the demanding curriculum. Therefore, the dismal graduation rate is due, in part, to the lack of reading instruction and support provided to secondary students. Despite the limited number of secondary students with proficient reading skills, the majority of secondary schools in the United States do not provide systematic literacy support in content area classrooms or additional support for struggling adolescent readers. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the number of secondary reading specialists employed in United States public schools. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Schools and Staffing Surveys were utilized. The results show that there are a strikingly small number of full-time reading specialists employed at the secondary level.

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