While some progress has been made in middle school literacy, it's clear that a significant number of current middle school students will graduate unable to understand complex texts necessary to succeed after high school.
The true intellectual is a glutton for reading material. Magazines and scholarly journals, biographies and other nonfiction, novels and short stories, poetry and street posters: all beg for attention and study.
As a teacher of good writing practices for over forty years, I have noticed that the quality of the writing in my classes seemed to be declining. I felt that the writing was barely of junior high school quality.