Student Athletes’ Reading Levels Study Ends Now, UNC Tells Reading Specialist

Education

A UNC reading specialist has been told to stop researching student athletes' reading skills.

The scandal regarding college athletes’ reading levels has intensified today, as the counselor at a UNC campus who first revealed the information has been instructed to do no further research into the matter without permission.

According to WITN news, the reading specialist has been told to discontinue any research into player literacy until given permission by a review board.

The university has a policy forbidding any research that might contain identifying information, unless the researcher receives permission from a review board.

Mary Willingham has received death threats and angry responses since she revealed to a CNN reporter that 70% of student athletes she’d worked with were reading below eighth grade level, and about ten percent were at or below third grade level. She says she’s more surprised at the level of denial of the facts.

Willingham shared stories of students such as the one who requested to be taught to read well enough to read news stories about himself, and the one who had to be taught to sound out multi-syllable words. While she did not reveal names, the university has a legitimate complaint in that the information she shared could potentially be identifying. There is no question that students have the right to privacy.

Still, it’s hard not to wonder if the reason for the shutting her down was less student privacy and more cover up.

[Image: Jason B.]

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