What the Words Say (American Public Media, APM, Reports)
Many kids struggle with reading – and children of color are far less likely to get the help they need. A false assumption about what it takes to be a skilled reader has created deep inequalities among U.S. children, putting many on a difficult path in life.
Reading is essential — not just for school success, but for life. When children have trouble learning to read, it can kick off a devastating downward spiral.1 Struggling readers are more likely to report feeling sad, lonely, angry, anxious and depressed.2 Their poor reading skills make it hard for them to keep up in other subject areas. They’re more likely to have behavior problems, to drop out of school and to end up in the criminal justice system.3
Despite the high stakes, lots of kids in this country can’t read very well. You can see it in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a standardized test given every two years to measure the reading comprehension of American students. More than a third of fourth graders don’t read on a basic level.