Student Achievement

Early Warning: Reading, Poverty, and Summer

By Mary-Ellen Phelps Deily — May 18, 2010 1 min read

Education Week has a fascinating story online today related to 4th grade reading skills and poverty. A report, “EARLY WARNING!: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters,” is being released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which plans soon to unveil a 10-year initiative to ensure that more children become proficient readers by the time they leave 3rd grade.

Fascinating, yes, but why am I writing about it? The answer lies in the report, which, among other things, “targets the disproportionate learning losses experienced by poor children over the summer as another area ripe for improvement,” my colleague Debra Viadero writes in her article. “To underscore that point,” she adds, “the report cites research showing that low-income children fall behind during the summer by as much as two months in reading achievement, while middle-income students tend to make slight gains in that subject over the same period.”

I’ll be watching for news of the foundation’s 10-year initiative and will write about it here as soon as I learn more. In the meantime, I’d recommend checking out the “EARLY WARNING!” report.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Beyond School blog.