Math or Reading?

When it comes to determining how our students are collectively progressing on their educational paths, standardized testing is still the primary method of measuring. We focus a lot on how ourmath scores compare with other countries around the world, how many science and engineering degrees are awarded compared with other countries, or how many people are or aren’t learning to code. And while ‘math and reading’ are collectively referenced quite often as the metrics by which we measure our students, we often gloss over the reading portion – because we’re a first world country – everyone can read – right?

Well, not quite. The handy infographic below takes a look at just how poorly our students (and adults) are doing with reading. The graphic uses Troy Prep Middle School in Albany, NY as an example of a fairly ‘typical’ public school (at least by the numbers. It is a charter school with mainly low income students. Take a look at the statistics , and tell us what you think. Do these statistics ring true from your personal experiences in the classroom? Weigh in by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Math is Hard But Reading is Harder

  • In 2012, 100% of 7th graders had proficient or advanced scores in math
  • But only 50% had met the same standards in reading
  • Similar results were found in other schools in the district: 86% of students were proficient or advanced in math, but only 66% in reading
  • Deficits start at a very young age
  • By age 4, children from low income families have heard 32 million fewer words than children from high income families
  • Over 10 million US students are from households where English is ot the primary language
  • 78% of these 10 million speak no English at home
  • In 2012, Reading SAT scores reached a four decade low, though math scores remain largely unchanged
  • Teachers are required to teach within the limits of the lower level students, so many are not advancing at a reasonable pace


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