Reading Is Still Fundamental

As the new millennium approaches, the corporate environment is becoming increasingly global, requiring a competitive workforce. And with new technical advancements almost daily, those not fully prepared in the basic fundamentals will be operating at a distinct disadvantage nd risk being left behind. Which poses the question: How good are our children’s reading skills?

Unfortunately, not as good as they could be. Data complied over the last several years by the National Center for Education Statistic form a telling picture. The National Assessment of Educational Progress 1994 reading Report Card for the Nation and the States illustrates that African American students continue to trail white and Hispanic Students in reading proficiency levels. Reading scores of all racial groups have dipped in the last several years. Some critics blame the content of standardized tests as much as actual reading ability. Still, the reports should give educators serious pause before throwing our reading fundamentals in favor of the latest educational fad, whether it be ebonics or other educational trends that could do more harm than good.

Reading Achievement Levels: Grade 12
1992

 

Percentage of students

At or above advanced

At or above proficient

At or above basic

Below basic

White

72%

5%

47%

86%

14%

Black

15

1

18

61

39

Hispanic

9

2

24

66

34

1994

 

 

 

 

 

White

73%

5%

43%

81%

19%

Black

13

1

13

52

48

Hispanic

8

1

20

58

42

Source: NAEP 1994 Reading Report Card for the Nation and the States, National Center for Education Studies, January 1996

Average Reading Proficiency: Grade 12

  1992 1994
White 298 294
Black 273 265
Hispanic 278 270
Source: NAEP 1994 Reading Report Card for the Nation and the States, National Center for Education Studies, January 1996
Basic reading level: 0-265
Average reading level: 266-302
Proficient: 303-346
Advanced: 347-500
Source: NAEP 1994 Reading Report Card for the Nation and the States, National Center for Education Studies, January 1996
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