Current research at all levels of schooling emphasizes the importance of effective reading comprehension as well as the challenges instructors face teaching it. Even as young adults, our students need guidance with this important ability. For example, the 2006 ACT report, Reading Between the Lines: What the ACT Reveals About College Readiness in Reading, provides the following statistics, which affect not only retention and graduation rates, but also students' performance as they enter the workforce:

  • Of the students who took the ACT in 2004-2005, 49% of them are underprepared for college.
  • Student readiness for college-level reading has steadily declined since 1999 to its lowest point in twelve years.
  • The scores of eighth and tenth graders indicate that more of them are ready for college-level reading than they are when they graduate from high school; this indicates that their skills actually decline before they enroll in college.
  • A survey by the National Association of Manufacturers, Andersen, and the Center for Workforce Success (2001) indicates that 80% of businesses have "moderate to severe" difficulty in finding "qualified job candidates" because those who apply are not proficient readers.