Since the enactment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law in 2002, the National Association of Educational Progress (NAEP) has administered annual tests to fourth and eighth graders nationwide. Reading results are dismal. Gains in reading achievement for fourth graders have been marginal, while performance of eighth graders has declined. In fact, NAEP test results for students in fifth through eighth grades show little or no progress during 30 years of testing. Darvin Winick, chairman of the bipartisan group set up by Congress to oversee NCLB, acknowledged in a 2007 interview, "Probably the educational establishment needs to look at middle school reading to see why we're not making progress there."
Physical and emotional changes brought on by puberty often take precedence over academics. To advance skills, programs must consider the potent needs for belonging and self worth that exist in adolescence. Additionally, the increasing numbers of at-risk students in our schools are a challenge to reach during these years.
Reading Manipulatives products are amazingly effective with older students of all ability levels. The self-directed activities methodically develop a wide array of skills in a holistic manner. These are reasons why the comprehensive sets of materials build skills.