Most not proficient in reading, study says

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A new education report reveals some pretty concerning statistics about American students and how well they read, and the effects could impact the economy in less than a decade.

By the end of third grade, elementary school teachers can predict which students will perform well in middle and high school based on their reading level. A new report based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that the “reading gap” has grown between rich and poor students over the past 10 years, and today 66% of American fourth graders are not proficient in reading.

Lisa Starnes of Springfield told 22News that she can see why this is happening.

“It’s not always the teacher’s responsibility. Everything starts at home, the training at home first, then in school,” Starnes said. “A lot of families have one parent households and the mother is working.”

The report also projects by the year 2020, there’s going to be a surplus of six million unemployed Americans without a high school diploma.

This research by the Casey Foundation shows that before a student can achieve success in the classroom or a career, they must meet certain developmental milestones, socially and emotionally; it also benefits them to be exposed to language.

Jamall Warren says he is proactive with educating his younger brothers and sisters.

“I read them books, I do activities with them, I make them go outside and play and that’s the way it should be. I don’t think we should all be sitting around watching TV. That’s not the way we learn,” Warren said.

Students who speak a different language at home are more likely to struggle when reading at school, and there has been no improvement in the last decade on that front, the study found.

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