Riley was fine with that conclusion being pointed out to them.
"I appreciate the advisory committee," he said. "We all share the goal that the district goes in the right direction."
"We believe the changes we are making in our literacy curriculum," Eidahl added, "will [improve] student achievement in places where there are deficits."
It may be a bit of a surprise to some parents that one category, "literacy," is considered so important compared to other skills. But that's because it's important to so many skills.
"There are literacy strands identified across all content areas: math, science, social studies all have a literacy component," Eidahl said.
Literacy is more than being able to read, he explained. It's being able to write, to speak, to listen. Students are expected to be able to comprehend information in multiple ways: to analyze, to infer, to predict, even to summarize.
That also gets the district closer to other goals: graduates who are critical thinkers, good communicators and informed decision-makers.
— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark