Last night I went to the mayoral debates in my state. The issues on the table for debate were transportation, homelessness, downtown parking, and affordable housing. All these issues are big problems in our state. But the one issue that truly solves these problems were not on the table i.e. Education.
If we are to focus on solutions, real solutions, education is where we need to look.
Here is the new national average of reading proficiency. Great news! It went up. But… still not enough. Reading Performance
” The average 4th-grade reading score in 2017 (222) was higher than the average score in 1992 (217), but not measurably different from the average score in 2015, when the assessment was last administered. At the 8th-grade level, the average reading score in 2017 (267) was higher than the scores in both 1992 (260) and 2015 (265).”
37 percent of 4th graders performed at or above the Proficient level, and 9 percent performed at the Advanced level.
So what does it mean that 9% performed at the advanced level? Does it mean that those 9% are truly proficient while the 37% have mastered reading but aren’t truly proficient?
Here is another truth.
36 percent of 8th graders performed at or above Proficient, and 4 percent performed at the Advanced level.
What does it mean that 36% of 8th graders performed at or above proficient levels but only 4% performed at advanced levels? I believe that 36% of 8th graders have mastered reading but only 4% are proficient at reading skill.
These numbers are still low. It isn’t acceptable that 74%–a whole class of students–are reading average to below average proficiency by 8th grade. I really sucks that 96% of students in the 8th graders don’t have the skills to read well enough to logically analyze what they read and make sense of the world around them.
So my question is this, upon graduation from high school, how many of these students will be ready to go out into the real world and 1. work and thrive at work? 2. head to college and pick up a trade or professional degree? and 3. how many of these students will be homeless or in prison or live off the system?
In 2015, some 72 percent of 12th-grade students performed at or above Basic in reading, 37 percent performed at or above Proficient, and 6 percent performed at the Advanced level.
So most of the population in 2015 were performing at average or below average proficiency.
I graduated in 1992. How do Hispanics fair today than when I graduated?
From 1992 through 2017, the average reading score for White 4th-graders was higher than those of their Black and Hispanic peersThe White-Hispanic gap in 2017 (23 points) was not measurably different from the White-Hispanic gap in 1992.
According to this site, most students of all races, except Asians and Pacific Islanders, scored below proficiency in reading.
Now that I gave you a little statistics so you can wrap your head around one idea I want to share, I want to talk about how we can solve this problem.
Here is one idea. A liberal education will solve the problems of literacy in our nation. We focus on the 3 R’s in elementary. We let each teacher decide how best to implement this curriculum based on the students in her class.
We don’t move kids beyond until they have mastered and are proficient.
We will never eliminate poverty but we can give each and every child the opportunity to take control of his or her future by giving all children regardless of background instruction in the 3 R’s.