The National Endowment for the Arts today released an interesting and disturbing report of American reading today. Gathering and collating available data, it reports that the data are simple, consistent, and alarming. Although there has been measurable progress in recent years in reading ability at the elementary school level, all progress seems to stop as children enter their teens. There is a general decline in reading among teenagers and adults and both reading ability and the habit of regular reading have greatly declined among college graduates.
The report reaches three conclusions:
* Americans are spending less time reading.
* Reading comprehension skills are eroding
* These declines have serious civic, social, cultural, and economic implications.
These conclusions are, as the report notes, "unsettling." Clearly, more research is needed to explore factors that might contribute to this trend and to weigh the relative effectiveness and costs and benefits of programs to foster lifelong reading and skills development.
Posted by P. Kaufman at November 19, 2007 7:13 AM