NBC Evening News for Thursday, Oct 13, 1977
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(Studio) In Florida, functional literacy is required of high school students in order to graduate.
REPORTER: David Brinkley
(Jacksonville, Florida) [WOMAN - reads sentence; asks class if it sounds right.] In Jacksonville high school about quarter of students are remedial readers, yet there are only 3 teachers for all of them, and no money for books or teacher's aides. Until now, these students have learned basic survival skills, like how to read job applications and want ads. But this year, state is requiring more. [high school principal Jim ROBERTS - notes many states have just been socially promoting youngsters; now Florida is preparing them for life after HS.] 11th graders in state must pass functional literacy test. [2nd WOMAN - notes passing test is extremely important] Many students are worried and officials say 30% are expected to fail. Some reading teachers think rate will be higher. [Teacher Sherry PRITCHARD - doesn't know if she could bring students up to pass test next year, even on crash course, 1-on-I basis.] Testing is also required in elementary grades now, so problems can be found.
REPORTER: Fred Francis
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