For over 25 years, I worked as an advisor/recruiter for all the health professions at Weber State University. One of the glaring differences in applications to our programs (radiology, nursing, medical technology, health information, respiratory therapy, health sciences, dental hygiene and emergency medicine) was real academic skills.
One of my duties was to go to area high schools to speak to health occupations and science classes about how to achieve success in our programs. I always asked the students which school subject would do them the most good in their lives. I would get various answers such as math, science and eventually someone would say English. Bingo! I would tell them that all the subjects are important, but if they cannot read, comprehend, retain, write and understand the vocabulary, all of those subjects go out the window.
I would tell them that if they have good English skills, indeed if they would work to excel in their English skills, they could do anything they ever wanted because English skills are the foundation for everything else. I am saddened to see that reading coaches are now being cut back in Ogden district. I do know that the LDS Church has many reading volunteers presently, but they are a small army and cannot do all that needs to be done. I am not a teacher in the district, nor do I have a child attending in the Ogden District. My observations of 25-plus years as a university counselor have convinced me that we need to help our students learn the basics so they can succeed in whatever area they choose.