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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Study shows students not reading proficiently

  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released a report indicating that a majority of Kansas children are not reading proficiently by the time they reach fourth grade.According to the report titled “Early Reading Proficiency in the United States,” 62 percent of children in Kansas are not reading at grade level...
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  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released a report indicating that a majority of Kansas children are not reading proficiently by the time they reach fourth grade. According to the report titled “Early Reading Proficiency in the United States,” 62 percent of children in Kansas are not reading at grade level by the time they start fourth grade. The report also indicated a disparity between children from higher and lower-income families. 78 percent of lower-income children were reported as not reading at proficiency, compared with 46 percent of higher-income children. “When a child isn't reading proficiently, that has negative implications for academic achievement and job readiness, as well as the economic security of future generations of Kansans,” said Shannon Cotsoradis, president and CEO of Kansas Action for Children, in a news release. Two earlier reports from the Casey Foundation indicated that children who read proficiently by the end of third grade are less likely to become poor, more likely to graduate from high school and more likely to find a job that can support their families. To assess reading ability, Dodge City elementary schools use what are called “running records,” reading assessments given to those in grades Kindergarten through 5 every few weeks. Every student is assessed based on reading level, comprehension and progress. Teachers and principals review “running record” data at weekly Professional Learning Communities (PLC) meetings. Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Judy Beedles-Miller said the percentage of Dodge City elementary schoolers reading at proficiency cannot be determined by running records. In addition to the running records, a common diagnostic assessment is given to all students at the beginning of second grade to determine if students are reading at grade level. “Reading proficiency is extremely important across all avenues for students' future success,” Beedles-Miller said. “One of the primary goals for Dodge City schools is to promote a love of reading in students,” she added. “… We, as educators, have a responsibility to promote reading and assist students who have difficulty in learning to read and have an inclination to withdraw from reading. We also accept the responsibility to challenge students reading on or above grade level.” Beedles-Miller said the district is aware of the disparities in reading ability between students from higher and lower-income families. “As educators in Dodge City, we are aware of the data, but we look at each child individually, regardless of whether they are from a high or low-income family, and teach to their literacy abilities” she said. “Our goal is always to move students forward for their future academic success.”

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