Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

The Older Students Get, The Less They Read For Fun

Students read "Of Mice and Men" in an Indianapolis high school English class.

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Students read "Of Mice and Men" in an Indianapolis high school English class.

“Here’s a bit of data that confirms what we already suspect,” Jill Barshay writes at The Hechinger Report, pointing to federal statistics showing fewer than one in five 17-year-olds report reading on their own time daily.

While daily reading among teens have slipped significantly in the past three decades, 9-year-olds are reading as much as ever — more than half report reading for fun every day.

The National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) results show 19 percent percent of 17-year-olds report reading for fun daily, on their own time. (Compare that to more than half of all 9-year-olds.)

NAEP / USDOE

The National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) results show 19 percent percent of 17-year-olds report reading for fun daily, on their own time. (Compare that to more than half of all 9-year-olds.)

The data came with the results of the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), the test that allows education policymakers to compare students’ academic performance over time. Barshay continues:

The decline in reading matters. According to NAEP, the kids with the highest test scores in reading also report reading the most. For example, 17-year-olds who say they read for fun almost every day scored 11 percent higher, on average, than 17-year-olds who admit that they don’t read for fun. Among nine year olds, those who say they read for fun almost every day scored almost 9 percent higher than those who admit that they don’t read for fun.

Reading is of critical importance to Indiana’s 9-year-olds. Third graders have to pass a test of their reading skills before moving to the fourth grade. Those who don’t pass risk being held back.

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