Lowering Reading Requirements and Expectations

Last year, almost all of the top 40 books read in grades nine through 12 were well below grade level. The most popular books, the three books in The Hunger Games series, were assessed to be at the fifth-grade level.

Last year, for the first time, Renaissance did a separate study to find out what books were being assigned to high school students. “The complexity of texts students are being assigned to read,” Stickney says, “has declined by about three grade levels over the past 100 years. A century ago, students were being assigned books with the complexity of around the ninth- or 10th-grade level. But in 2012, the average was around the sixth-grade level.”

~Lynn Neary, “What Kids Are Reading, In School and Out

One comment on “Lowering Reading Requirements and Expectations

  1. khhsocratica says:

    I had a chance to see a copy of a “reader” used for grade 7 or 8 in my mum’s one-room schoolhouse that she attended out in the boondocks of Alberta farmland in Canada in the 1930s-40s. It was incredibly sophisticated – all sorts of essays, math problems, etc. all bundled into a small volume. I doubt that most high school students today could do a close read of those texts, or successfully solve the word problems my mum did for her math homework. I used to feel sorry for her, not having access to a regular big city school – but those nuns knew what they were doing!

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