Reading Scores in 2019: States Not Doing Right by Kids in Title I Schools

Posted January 15, 2020
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Update fourthgradersinnontitleischools 2020

Where pover­ty is high­er, test scores are low­er. That’s the con­tin­ued take­away from recent­ly released data on fourth-grade read­ing achieve­ment at schools that do and don’t receive Title I fund­ing, which is the extra fed­er­al sup­port deliv­ered to schools with high rates of low-income children.

The lat­est Nation­al Assess­ment of Edu­ca­tion­al Progress data post­ed to the KIDS COUNT® Data Cen­ter show that in 2019, 49% of fourth-graders in non-Title I schools scored below pro­fi­cient in read­ing, up one per­cent­age point from 2017. Put anoth­er way, only about half of fourth-graders in schools with ordi­nary finan­cial resources can read proficiently.

In Title I schools nation­wide, the fig­ure was 74% in 2019, unchanged from 2017. About three-quar­ters of fourth-graders do not read with pro­fi­cien­cy in schools with high­er shares of chil­dren liv­ing in poverty.

The achieve­ment gap between Title I and non-Title I schools pre­vails in every state. There are only two states where at least a third of fourth-graders in Title I schools are read­ing at pro­fi­cient lev­els: Mass­a­chu­setts, where 36% of fourth-graders in Title I schools are pro­fi­cient read­ers (in non-Title I schools in Mass­a­chu­setts, the fig­ure is 59%), and Wyoming, where 37% of fourth-graders in Title I schools are read­ing pro­fi­cient­ly com­pared to 44% in non-Title I schools. Wyoming is also the state with the small­est per­cent­age-point gap between the two groups of schools.

The KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter is home to data on hun­dreds of edu­ca­tion-relat­ed indi­ca­tors, includ­ing test score fig­ures for read­ing, writ­ing, math and sci­ence in the Unit­ed States.

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