Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Schools Can Boost Students’ Reading Scores

Here is a guest post by Anna Miller:

The verdict is in and the result is not really flattering for children in the USA – according to the survey conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the reading scores (a dismal 221 on a scale of 500) of fourth graders across the nation has not improved at all over the period of a year. The same tests conducted for eighth graders did not show much improvement either with the scores rising just one point (from 263 to 264) in a whole year. There is more reason to hang our heads in shame when we consider that this lack of improvement is despite the efforts of the No Child Left Behind law and the Reading First program that was a part of it. So where are we going wrong and what can schools do to boost their students’ reading scores?

Get them to read, read and read some more: The best and easiest way to easily understand what you read and be able to infer facts from what you have read is to read as much as you can. The more you read, the more your comprehensive ability increases. The written word does so much more than tell you a story – it improves your vocabulary, boosts your comprehension capabilities, and even allows you to become a writer in your own right. So if schools want to get their students to improve their reading scores, they must encourage and insist on reading habits right from the time the child is able to make sense of a string of words.

Minimize the use of technology in the classroom: While technology is a good thing, there are times when it hinders with the natural learning process by allowing you to take shortcuts that don’t help your brain in the long run. So if students are permitted to use calculators to work out formulae, if they’re allowed to use cell phones to remember vital facts, and if they’re allowed to look up the Internet for the solution to every single problem they’re given, how are their brains going to be pushed enough to develop and grow? Reading and comprehension skills are associated with the ability to reason and infer facts and solutions from the given set of information. So unless children are allowed to challenge their brains in more ways than one, they will always remain poor readers and writers.

Reading is as important as, if not more important than Mathematics and the Sciences because it forms the basis for every other subject. If you’re able to comprehend the essence of a paragraph with just one reading, you don’t really have to struggle to study the subject in question. Reading itself constitutes studying, so that’s all the more reason for schools to focus on boosting their students’ reading scores.

This guest post is contributed by Anna Miller, who writes on the topic of online degree. She welcomes your comments at her email id:


In spite of high-profile efforts to improve the reading skills of the USA's poorest schoolchildren over the past several years, their reading abilities barely improved last year compared with 2007, results of a federally administered test show.

Reading scores essentially didn't budge in 2009, both for students overall and minority students, according to results issued Wednesday on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. Fourth-graders' scores were unchanged at 221 points on a 500-point scale, and those of eighth-graders rose just one point, from 263 to 264.

ILLITERACY: Why Johnny still can't read.

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