Most people only have a vague sense of the massive problem our country is facing in the field of education. Parents who have a child who is struggling in school tend to feel alone and overwhelmed by the challenge. Many hope that their school will fix the problem, but as you will see below, the number of children who are being left behind is unbelievable and shameful.
The best source of standardized education performance statistics on a national basis is the National Assessment of Education Progress by the US Department of Education. The annual report is called the Nation’s Report Card.
The NAEP conducts academic performance testing yearly on 4th and 8th-grade students. On average, only about one out of three students is proficient in reading. Two out of three are not proficient and one out of three students do not even meet basic requirements.
According to the Black Boys Report, by the Schott Foundation, only 10% of Black male 8th-grade students are proficient in reading and only 52% graduate from high school in a four-year period.
To find the test scores for any school, go to SchoolDigger and search for the school. Once you find the school, click on the test scores tab. The data will show you the scores for the school, the district and the state.
Why Reading Success Matters
Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Over 70 percent of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th-grade level.
Nearly 85 percent of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime. More than 60 percent of all inmates are functionally illiterate.
75 percent of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest 2 levels of literacy, and 90 percent of high school dropouts are on welfare.
The Value of Education
On average, the higher and more successful a student achieves in education, the greater the positive impact in career success and lifetime income. Education offers one of the best opportunities for a student to break the cycle of poverty.
Failure for a student to achieve the 3rd-grade reading milestone is one of the best indicators of academic and life struggle. Many states predict prison facility requirements based on 3rd-grade reading scores. Most students who are poor readers in 3rd grade never catch up.