Federal Report Card Shows Failing Grades

Dept of EducationThe following statistics are taken from www.ed.gov,  the federal department of education site.  I thought it might be eye-opening to see how far we till have to go in teaching reading and writing.  Although these statistics are depressing, it is necessary to keep a goal in mind.  Our educational system needs help big-time. You can use the statistics to apply for grants for school support from foundations and corporations.

“Too many U.S. students are not becoming proficient in basic academic knowledge and skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and science. For example, on the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 33 percent of fourth-graders and 26 percent of eighth-graders cannot read at the basic level; and on the 2005 NAEP 27 percent of twelfth-graders cannot read at the basic level. That is, when reading grade appropriate text these students cannot extract the general meaning or make obvious connections between the text and their own experiences or make simple inferences from the text. In other words, they cannot understand what they have read.

A similar picture emerges in the development of writing skills. According to the 2002 NAEP writing assessment 14 percent of fourth-graders cannot write at the basic level, 15 percent of eighth-graders cannot write at the basic level, and 26 percent of twelfth-graders cannot write at the basic level.

On the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 14 percent of adults demonstrated no more than the most simple and concrete literacy skills. These adults are able to sign their names and can locate information in short prose texts, but are unable to read and understand material presented in pamphlets or newspaper articles. Another 29 percent of the adult population demonstrated basic prose literacy skills, but could not perform moderately challenging literacy activities, such as summarizing a text.

Given the increasing need for literacy in the workplace (Barton 2000), it is unsurprising that more than half of adults with below basic literacy levels are unemployed. In addition, adults with a basic mastery of prose literacy skills also confront challenges in the workplace. Approximately 38 percent of those individuals are currently unemployed.”

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