Reading scores improving in Mississippi is promising

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Reading is such an integral part of our lives these days it’s hard to think of a time that it wasn’t necessary.

Even the simplest of tasks requires some level of literacy.

We can’t pay our bills without being able to get a job. To get that job, we have to be able to read.

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While not as prevalent as before the invention of television, to engage in a good story involved picking up a book.

And the ability to not only read, but to comprehend the author’s meaning was essential. That’s where proficiency in literacy came into play.

With so much emphasis put on literacy rates, it’s good to hear that Mississippi’s nationwide ranking is improving, according to information released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

However, those rates are still among the lowest in the nation.

The Associated Press reports that when compared to national averages, our state’s students are behind by a year in the area of learning in general, even though reading scores rose by a large margin.

The AP story states that 27 percent of Mississippi’s fourth grade students were proficient in reading.

When they got to eighth grade, 25 percent of those students were proficient. In comparison, 33 percent of eighth grade students nationwide were proficient in reading.

It’s hard to think that a minority of our young people are reading proficient.

We need to do more, not just as a state, but as a nation, to ensure everyone can comprehend the meaning of even the simplest of sentences.