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New documentary examines old problem: children falling behind in literacy

Our children don't read well. Test scores for both California and Oregon show only about 40% of 3rd graders able to read at grade level. It's a failure of education, and one we've been talking about for decades now.

A documentary out this spring called The Right to Read examines where the system failed, and who it is failing. For one thing, reading scores are worse for children of color and children in poverty (see the report from Our Children Oregon).

We bring in the filmmaker, Jenny Mackenzie, along with Ronda Fritz, who teaches at the College of Education at Eastern Oregon University. Dr. Fritz is also on the board of The Children's Institute in Oregon.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.