Kindergartners Show Rising Reading Scores, Overall At kindergarten graduation, children today may have reading skills that used to be first-grade level 12 years ago, according to a nationwide study. Researchers at Ohio State University found that, on average, children are now better readers at the end of kindergarten than in years prior, though the data also ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   July 01, 2017
Kindergartners Show Rising Reading Scores, Overall
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Development / School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Professional Issues & Training / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   July 01, 2017
Kindergartners Show Rising Reading Scores, Overall
The ASHA Leader, July 2017, Vol. 22, 14. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.22072017.14
The ASHA Leader, July 2017, Vol. 22, 14. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.22072017.14
At kindergarten graduation, children today may have reading skills that used to be first-grade level 12 years ago, according to a nationwide study.
Researchers at Ohio State University found that, on average, children are now better readers at the end of kindergarten than in years prior, though the data also highlighted gaps in advanced reading skills and in performance of low-achieving students.
“Overall, it is good news,” says Jerome D’Agostino, professor of educational studies at Ohio State. “We have evidence that the increased emphasis on learning important skills earlier in life is having a real impact on helping develop reading abilities by first grade.” D’Agostino co-authored the study, published in the journal Educational Researcher, with Emily Rodgers, associate professor of teaching and learning at Ohio State.

“We’re getting the low-achievement students only part of the way there.”

During the 12-year study that began in 2002, researchers used a screening test (An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement) to assess basic skills such as letter identification and word recognition, and advanced skills such as writing vocabulary and text reading, in 364,738 children from 2,358 schools across 44 states.
Average scores on all parts of the assessment increased significantly over 12 years. But while low-achieving students shortened the gap between higher-achieving peers in basic skills, the gap widened within the advanced skills.
“We’re getting the low-achievement students only part of the way there,” Rodgers says. “They’re doing better at learning sounds and letters, and now we have to do a better job helping them put it all together and read text.”
The authors note that No Child Left Behind and two national reports released in 2000 and 2008 encouraged a shift in how teachers approach teaching reading skills.
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July 2017
Volume 22, Issue 7