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Study Analyzes Reading Patterns in Nation’s Students

Study Analyzes Reading Patterns in Nation’s Students

A newly released annual report from Renaissance Learning called What Kids Are Reading analyzes the “reading diet” in the nation’s 9.8 million students

Among the report’s more important findings, the report found that habitual reading helps lower the achievement gap and that high school students are reading books at levels “far lower than the reading they’ll be responsible for as an adult and in workplace settings”

The report also found a lack of STEM content in student’s reading diets, though it did find that more students are reading nonfiction works thanks to new standards.

In regards to closing the achievement gap, the report said that “[w]hile it is true that high-performing students tend to do a lot of reading, it is also true that when we examine less skilled or struggling readers, we see that those who read a lot of appropriately challenging books with high comprehension tend to experience accelerated growth throughout the school year, and thus close gaps."

And for students who read 15 or more minutes a day with comprehension, they were found to be significantly more likely to meet college and career readiness benchmarks, despite being struggling students, English learners, or on free/reduced lunch.

"Each school year represents a new opportunity for learning. Students who begin the year below their peers are not destined to stay there. Students who start low but who receive high-quality instruction, read books that are of interest to them, spend more time reading, encounter more words, and demonstrate comprehension on their daily reading can surge ahead and catch up to their peers on the path to college and career readiness,” the report said.

Also included in the report is a list of the top 25 books read by each respective grade in first through twelfth for the 2014-15 school year.

"While the two recent dystopian novels The Hunger Games and Divergent rank among the top ten books in grades seven to 12, classics like To Kill A Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men still make appearances on the list,” said Renaissance Learning in a statement.

Download the full report here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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