It is indeed a scandal that so many children leave primary school without learning to read and write properly. But are blanket targets the best way ahead? The BBC reports:
Mr Clegg said the coalition had cut illiteracy but said it was a "national scandal" that more than a fifth of 11-year-olds leave primary school without reaching what is regarded as the basic level in reading.
He said the Liberal Democrat manifesto would contain a pledge to eliminate child illiteracy in 10 years.
It will be measured in the Key Stage 2 exams in the final year of primary school.Far from sure that it is actually possible to eliminate illiteracy. There will always be some children who for internal or external reasons fail to learn to read and write.
Perhaps eliminating illiteracy is like eliminating unemployment. In both cases, what the politicians actually mean is reducing the level to a minimum vaguely regarded as acceptable.
But Clegg is right to push for greater attention to be paid to literacy teaching.