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Gradebook podcast: What are Hillsborough schools doing to help students read better?

A newly released preliminary analysis suggests better reading materials, more equitably distributed, among other possible solutions.
OCTAVIO JONES | Times Areeya Reneau 16, left, helps second-grader Annika Newsome with reading passages read from “A Apple Grows Up” at Bailey Elementary School in Dover. IB students from Strawberry High School spend the first hour of every Tuesday morning tutoring struggling readers from Bailey Elementary.
Published Oct. 9

In Florida, the Hillsborough County school district has one of the largest number of schools on the state’s lowest performing list when it comes to reading. Nearly one in four students in the system score below grade level on the annual reading and language arts exam.

To combat the problem, the district hired a consultant to explore where the problems lie, and what strategies might bring the lowest readers up.

A newly released preliminary report pointed to the types of materials provided, and how equitably they are distributed, as key to the situation.

Reporter Marlene Sokol talks with district chief academic officer Deborah Cook about the importance of reading and what the system has in mind to make improvements.

RELATED: Hillsborough needs better books, clearer direction to boost reading, report says

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