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The Reading Inequality Crisis in the US

March 27, 2024
Written by 
Emily Mae
3 min read

Through our research, not only did we discover 65% of our fourth-graders are struggling to read, but the crisis is even more unsettling across demographics with the 78% of Hispanics and 85% of Black children lacking proficiency in reading skills. Adding to the education challenges due to the pandemic lockdowns, experts now fear the gap will further widen across demographics and income level. 

The issue of inequality arises from the disparity in reading habits between these students and their peers. Parental involvement in reading with children “through modeling and in-paired reading” is important to create future readers but is often lacking in Hispanics and Black households. This gap widens further due to insufficient support both at home and within the school system. Without adequate structure and support, students are inevitably left behind in their educational journey.

The pandemic disrupted schooling for children even further. According to NPR’s report on two large scale studies, chronic absenteeism – the percentage of students who misses 10% or more of a school year – was at 26% in 2023 and has not returned to the pre-pandemic level of 15%. "In most states, achievement gaps between rich and poor districts are even wider now than they were before the pandemic," one report found.

How do we close this widening gap? Can we provide an alternative solution in English teaching that is accessible, affordable and personalized?

Join us as we transition from our research to our groundbreaking collaboration with AERDF. Discover the transformative strategy we are adopting to revolutionize reading instruction and pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive educational landscape. Together, let's stand united against the reading crisis and embark on this crucial journey toward change. Stay tuned for the next chapter in our four-part series!