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Originally posted on Pursuit of a Joyful Life:
I saw you as you rushed passed me in the lunch room. Urgent. In a hurry to catch a bite before the final bell would ring calling all the students back inside. I noticed that your eyes showed tension. There were faint creases in your forehead. And I asked you how your day was going and you sighed.
“Oh, fine,” you replied.
But I knew it was anything but fine. I noticed that the stress was getting to you. I could tell that the pressure was rising. And I looked at you and made an intentional decision to stop you right then and there. To ask you how things were really going. Was it that I saw in you a glimpse of myself that made me take the moment?
BALTIMORE — In a new KIDS COUNT® data snapshot, the Annie E. CaseyFoundation finds that 80 percent of lower-income fourth graders and 66 percent of all kids are not reading proficiently – a key predictor of a student’s future educational and economic success. If this trend continues, the country will not have enough skilled workers for an increasingly competitive global economy by the end of this decade.
“Early Reading Proficiency in the United States” finds that two-thirds of all children are not meeting an important benchmark: reading at grade level at the start of fourth grade. Of even greater concern is that the gap between students from higher- and lower-income families is growing wider, with 17 percent improvement seen among the former group compared to only a 6 percent improvement among their lower-income peers.
“Reading is critical for all children,” said Ralph Smith, senior vice president of the Casey Foundation and managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “It is unacceptable to have the gap in reading proficiency rates between low- and high-income children increase by nearly 20 percent over the last decade. We must do more to improve reading proficiency among all kids while focusing attention on children in lower-income families who face additional hurdles of attending schools that have high concentrations of kids living in poverty.”
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