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Natriello on the Nation's Reading Scores

Gary Natriello, Professor of Sociology and Education, recently commented on the decline in US reading scores, a downhill trend that began in the 1940s. He suggested that the struggles that kids face to make sense of what they read is compounded by the increase in immigration, resulting in a large population of non-English speaking students who may not have background knowledge to make sense of what they read.

Pressures that US schools face, including changes in workforce, budgetary concerns, and advancements in information technology, are additional factors that Natriello cited as contributing to the problem. Moreover, these pressures point to the dangers of using test scores alone as predictors of progress. He posed that other signs of progress, such as the high number of college applicants and the increased diversity of graduating high school classes, are "not reflected in the test scores and we sometimes lose sight of that."

The article, entitled "Can Johnny Read Yet?" appeared in the June 24 edition of the Christian Science Monitor.

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