WHEREAS, low literacy and functional illiteracy is reaching crisis levels within our society as a whole. Literacy impacts both educational attainment as well as economic status, and low literacy levels can be responsible for unemployment; poverty; academic failure; increased criminal behavior and poor health outcomes; and
WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can't read. That's 14 percent of the population, 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can't read; and
WHEREAS, Dyslexia is hereditary and the most common reading disability with approximately 1 out of every 5 people struggling with dyslexia. More than 20% of the population is dyslexic, yet many remain undiagnosed, untreated and struggling with the impact of their dyslexia.
WHEREAS, according to Yale Dyslexia and Creativity Center, "Dyslexia crosses racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines and with proper instruction and accommodations, it can be remediated. However, the diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia remains elusive in public school environments, and even more so within urban school populations and African American communities." Children who cannot read are marginalized and left to struggle and ultimately risk falling completely through the cracks, dropping out of school and facing dismal futures;
WHEREAS, "more than 60% of urban school children do not graduate from high school, and 40% of those who do graduate read at a 4th grade level. Only 14% of African- American 8th graders read at a proficient level. The high school dropout rate among African Americans is even more staggering with more than 60% dropping out in high school. And, undiagnosed and untreated reading disabilities increase the risk of youth involvement in the juvenile justice systems." Perpetuating the school to prison pipeline."
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, it is imperative and appropriate that the NAACP join the fight to raise awareness, support legislation, and the need for more appropriate accommodations for children of color to ensure that all African American children receive screening, tutoring and proper remediation services in school to combat this Civil Rights Issue of Our Time!