HHS's Dr. Julie Swann uses engineering to help solve problems in reading proficiency in Georgia

Posted October 6, 2015 | Atlanta, GA

Read­ing pro­fi­ciency is at a na­tion­al crisis. Na­tion­ally, two-thirds of chil­dren are read­ing be­low grade level in fourth grade: 80 per­cent for low-income children and 81 per­cent for Latinos, who are dis­pro­por­tion­ately more likely to be lower in­come and Eng­lish-lan­guage learners.  

The Get Geor­gia Read­ing campaign was formed to address this problemand a statewide col­lab­or­a­tion of more than 100 pub­lic and private part­ners de­signed to cre­ate the con­di­tions ne­ces­sary to get every child read­ing by 2020.

Emily de Ruy interviewed HHS Center co-director Dr. Julie Swann on the valuable role of an engineering approach in solving complex problems such as failing reading proficiency levels when evaluating a range of contributing factors such as "affordability, accessibility, and availability." Issues often include absences due to poor health, school suspensions based on harsh zero-tolerance policies, or limited access to adequate nutrition.

The State of Georgia originally stated that it wanted to increase reading proficiency to 60% by 2015- while this has not happened yet, campaign head Arianne Weldon believes it is possible. To read more about the campiagn and Georgia Tech's contribution to the ongoing studies, visit: http://www.nationaljournal.com/next-america/education/how-georgia-uses-engineers-increase-reading?mref=landing-big.