Article: Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years


I read this great article today that nails exactly why we built the Starling.

The problem is almost unimaginable. As a nation we have not improved our educational results in 20 years despite spending trillions of dollars (cumulatively) and we accept that only 1/3rd of students will read to grade level - wow:

“Math scores have been flat since 2009 and reading scores since 1998, with just a third or so of students performing at a level the NAEP defines as ‘proficient.’”

The article goes on to show how the current educational approaches completely ignore the research which says that background context is really, really, really, really, really important to reading & educational success.

How do children best get context? From adults and caregivers who take the time to explain the word around them using rich language. It doesn’t come from TV, it doesn’t come from an iPad, and it doesn’t come from being quiet. The article states that a student’s success depends on background knowledge and vocabulary:

“Willingham explained that whether or not readers understand a text depends far more on how much background knowledge and vocabulary they have relating to the topic than on how much they’ve practiced comprehension skills.”

What do you think? Are we explaining enough of the world to our babies and toddlers?

Here is the article: