Is Your Kid In Fifth Grade? He Reads As Well As Many College Freshman

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It’s not a secret why so many high school seniors are unable to comprehend college-level textbooks. According to a recent educational study, they are reading books just above a fifth-grade level.
Renaissance Learning, a Wisconsin-based educational assessment firm, noted in their study, “What Kids are Reading, and Why It Matters,” that the complexity of books that students chose to read nosedives after fifth grade.  “The average difficulty level of independently read books steadily increases in elementary school,” the report said, peaking at a fifth grade level by the students’ senior year in high school.

The average difficulty level of the books teenagers read is comparable to what adults read in their leisure time, the report notes. The problem is that adults, according to the study, can comprehend newspaper articles, college-level textbooks, and career books – skills many of the students in the study do not appear to have.

Renaissance Learning uses ACOS, a system that scores texts according to content and complexity. According to that system, nearly all kids are reading books in their grade-level ‘target range’ when they are in fifth grade. By the time they are seniors in high school, though, fewer than 15 percent read even one book on their grade level.
Even the books colleges assign incoming freshman don’t hit the mark by making students literate enough to comprehend college-level materials.
Education expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky, a prominent figure in the battle to bring reading standards up to snuff, decried the ‘billions’ of dollars spent on college students who are not equipped to academically succeed.

“The average reading level for five of the top seven books assigned as summer reading by 341 colleges using Renaissance Learning’s readability formula was rated 7.56,” she told Breitbart News. That means those students are reading at a level appropriate to a seventh grade student, midway through the school year.

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