Leading from Behind in Literacy

, Malcolm A. Kline, 1 Comment

Declining literacy appears to be yet another trademark of the Obama years. “U.S. fourth-graders have lost ground in reading during the past five years, international test results published Tuesday indicate, and the gap between high and low achievers appears to be widening,” Sharon Noguchi reported in The Mercury News. “But the good news is that the United States still scores in the top third of 41 countries and regions on one of the few tests to offer a global assessment of nations’ education and students.”

“The top performers on the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study were the Russian Federation and Singapore, followed by Hong Kong, Ireland, Finland, Poland and Northern Ireland. The exam, administered in spring 2016, covered 319,000 fourth-graders who were a representative sampling of each country or region.”

“The U.S. average score was 549, above the exam’s center point of 500, but six points below its score five years ago. In that time, the U.S. was bypassed by Ireland, England and Taipei.”