January 20, 2016

Too Many Young Readers Still Aren’t Making the Grade

By fourth grade, kids often hit the books to learn about new subjects, and this is one of many reasons why strong reading skills are vital to their academic success.

The KIDS COUNT Data Center tracks the percentage of fourth graders who are not proficient in reading — and there’s both good and bad news to share.

The good news? Reading scores for fourth graders steadily improved over the last 5 years. These gains occurred throughout the country, across all racial and ethnic groups and regardless of family income levels.

The bad news: Despite these improvements, roughly 2 out of 3 fourth graders failed to score proficient in reading in 2015.

Among fourth graders of color, 82% of black students, 79% of Latino students and 78% of American Indian students were reading at a below-proficient level in 2015.

Explore new education achievement data — at the national and state level — in the KIDS COUNT Data Center.