A focus on struggling readers in middle school has helped the Charleston County School District in South Carolina reduce the number of ninth-grade students reading at a fourth-grade level from 18% in 2009 to 12% in 2013. Among the changes were the addition of a separate reading class for students needing extra help and expanding the focus from just eighth-grade students to include sixth- and seventh-grade students as well. "If students are reading at such a low level when they're entering ninth grade, they're going to struggle in every single subject and possibly drop out," school Superintendent Nancy McGinley said.

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