Low Literacy Rates at Failing High School

11:53 PM, Jul 24, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - A public meeting was held Wednesday night to hear what options the Buffalo School District is considering to moving forward. 2 On Your Side looked into why these students are failing at Lafayette and East High School in the first place.

Students hold up signs urging the Buffalo School District to save the failing high schools in the queen city.

The call out for help took place in front of a public meeting where families could hear what the options are for students moving forward.

"I'm hearing parents are concerned for their kids, of course they want the best for them," School Board Member Theresa Harris-Tigg said.

A language barrier has been reported as a major reason for students failing at Lafayette. 70 percent of the students are not proficient in English.

But what's causing students to fail at East High School?

"Some of my understanding is kids come to East reading at lower levels, so that would contribute to that," Harris-Tigg said.

East High Schools state report card shows about three years back---none of the 23 student tested passed the writing portion of the regency competency test. Only 37 percent of tested students passed reading.

This year's numbers were not available but Tamara Branch with Johns Hopkins University which is trying to help the schools improve---- tell us there's been incremental growth.

"When students are not in school, if they're not there to learn than certainly that has a dramatic impact on their achievement," Tamara Branch said.

The attendance rate at East High School was about 77 percent for the 2010 -2011 school year. Student suspensions stood at 37 percent.

It's believed social and economic reasons are contributing to the struggle of getting students to class -- where they learn to read and write.

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