The Annie E. Casey Foundation has just released the results of their update to their study of third grade reading scores. The new data shows that 80% of low-income fourth graders are not proficient in reading as compared to 49% in higher income students. Due to this, there is an expected shortfall in the United States by 2020 of 1.5 million workers with college degrees with a surplus of 6 million people without a high school diploma who will be unemployed.
These disparities in income are also echoed in racial groups. Black students are at 83% below proficient reading levels. Hispanic students are at 81%. That is compared to 55% for white students and 49% for Asian.
The study goes on to show state by state what the percentage point different is in reading proficiency rate.
The good news is that reading proficiency is improving the US. The bad news is that the large gaps remain in specific demographics. The report ends by urging a focus on making sure that children are healthy and ready to learn, exposed to as much language as possible in their early years, and encouraging parents and school to work together to make sure their children are learning.