Letter: Reframe thinking around student outcomes

Graphic by Lori Deaton

A huge thank-you to Mountain Xpress for sharing Read to Succeed’s mission and work with our community [“Zeroing In: Read To Succeed Strives to Close Asheville’s Racial Opportunity Gap,” Jan 17]. We appreciate Greg Parlier’s thoughtful questions and how he published direct quotes from our answers.

We hope with continued discussion around how our community can support young readers, we can also reframe the deficit-based language that led the article.

We recommend our community rethink placing the onus on children, as this lead sentence conveys: “In Asheville, Black students have lagged behind their white counterparts in literacy for decades, according to test scores over time,” and instead acknowledge the systems at work that push children to the margins.

Perhaps, “In Asheville, traditional education systems have failed to support Black children in reaching grade-level reading proficiency, according to test scores over time.”

— Jessica McLean and Ashley Allen
Co-executive directors, Read to Succeed


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