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Watch: Will Common Core State Standards improve literacy?

As American students continue to fall behind foreign peers, 45 states and Washington, D.C. have adopted the Common Core State Standards, a new set of academic benchmarks aimed at raising the bar for teaching and learning across the country, the Huffington Post reports. But as John Merrow reports for PBS News, meeting the new requirements won’t be easy for many schools, as a long-taught reading curriculum for young children still learning to sound out words doesn’t comply with the Common Core’s guidelines for emphasis on nonfiction in literacy education. Across the country, 65 percent of eighth graders do not meet grade level expectations in reading. And according to a report out in March, the average reading level of teens in grades 9-12 is 5.3 — barely above the fifth grade. Those results come from “What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in American Schools,” a report by Renaissance Learning, Inc. The data covers book-reading records for the 2010-2011 academic year among 2.6 million students in grades 1-12 from 24,465 schools in all 50 states and Washington, D.C…

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