Find Out Which States Score the Lowest
You’ve often heard it said that “reading is fundamental.” It’s true. Reading is a basic skill that is critical to learning everything else. So, why are low-income students falling so far behind on this basic skill?
According to a recent report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 83 percent of African-American students in the fourth grade score below the standards for proficiency in reading, followed by 81 percent for Hispanic and Latino children. But they are not alone. Overall, two thirds of all fourth grade students are not meeting reading proficiency standards, but the number is higher among students from low-income families.
Why reading skills should be measured in the fourth grade
According to experts, if students are not able to master reading by the time they finish third grade, they are less likely to graduate from high school and become successful adults. Struggling with reading often leads to struggling with other subjects as well, causing students to fall further and further behind in school. The ability to read early is critical to mastering other learning skills.
Why low-income students are falling behind
The Casey Foundation links low reading skills among low-income students to health problems, language struggles, and lack of strong social and emotional skill development. For many low-income students, these problems represent huge obstacles that will affect their reading and learning skills early in life and have a huge impact later in life.
The lowest-scoring states
The states that scored the lowest in reading proficiency included Arizona, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico. In these states, 85 percent of low-income students are failing to meet proficiency standards.