Reading Scores Rising, Along With Achievement Gap

White and Asian students make minimal improvement, while minority students aren't improving.

In 2005, only 36 percent of high school seniors in the U.S. taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading test scored proficient or better in the subject. It was a historic low. But, according to the results of the 2009 NAEP tests, it may prove to be a nadir.

On last year's exam, 38 percent of students rated as proficient in reading. While the trend is moving in the right direction, the percentage of proficient students still lags behind 1992 levels. Scores were up in math, rising from 23 percent to 26 percent.

In reaction to the data release this morning, Education Secretary Arne Duncan gave a sobering reaction, saying essentially that the results still indicate that our children's abilities aren't yet up to snuff:

Today's report suggests that high school seniors' achievement in reading and math isn't rising fast enough to prepare them to succeed in college and careers. ... President Obama has set a goal that the United States once again will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the end of the decade. In a survey that accompanied the NAEP test, 86 percent of seniors said they expect to graduate college.
Perhaps more alarming than the lack of a greater uptick in scores is that they indicate a widening in the achievement gap. White and Asian students improved since 2005, but, according to a press release (PDF): "Reading scores did not change significantly among Black, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native students, or for female students, since 2005."
So, does that mean that while we're slowly beginning to fix our education system overall, we need to heed the warning that we might still be failing to address those populations who are in greatest need of our help?
Photo (cc) via Flickr user rachel sian\n
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
"IMG_0846" by Adrienne Campbell is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In an effort to avoid a dystopian sci-fi future where Artificial Intelligence knows pretty much everything about you, and a team of cops led by Tom Cruise run around arresting people for crimes they did not commit because of bad predictive analysis; Bernie Sanders and other Democratic candidates have some proposals on how we can stop it.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

It's fun to go to a party, talk to strangers, and try to guess where they're from just by their accents and use of language. It's called 'soda' on the East Coast and 'pop' in the Midwest, right? Well, it looks like a new study has been able to determine where a Humpback whale has been and who he's been hanging out with during his awesome travels just from his song.

Keep Reading Show less
Governor Grethcen Whitmer / Twitter

In 2009, the U.S. government paid $50 billion to bail out Detroit-based automaker General Motors. In the end, the government would end up losing $11.2 billion on the deal.

Government efforts saved 1.5 million jobs in the United States and a sizable portion of an industry that helped define America in the twentieth century.

As part of the auto industry's upheaval in the wake of the Great Recession, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) made sacrifices in contracts to help put the company on a solid footing after the government bailout.

Keep Reading Show less
via Jimmy Kimmel / YouTube

Fake news is rampant on the internet. Unscrupulous websites are encouraged to create misleading stories about political figures because they get clicks.

A study published by Science Advances found that elderly conservatives are, by far, the worst spearders of fake news. Ultra conservatives over the age of 65 shared about seven times more fake information on social media than moderates and super liberals during the 2016 election.

Get ready for things to get worse.

Keep Reading Show less