Monday, November 19, 2007

Reading and test scores

I read this study in the NYT about how a drop in time spent reading correlates to a drop in test scores. I do not disagree that individuals should read more but it is making me ruminate over how learning is changing. I have been reading a lot about how schools need to change their approaches to teaching. Maybe the way we test students is not taking into account how these students learn. Maybe we need to change how we test? Maybe these tests fall into such an "old" way of teaching and assessing knowledge, that the tests can no longer reflect what an individual actually knows.

I was never a good test taker. I never felt that test scores proved anything about my ability to complete a problem or analyze a text. I still do not feel they are a great reflection on how much an individual will succeed in school or in life.

But I did think this was an interesting study and it is making me ponder how we instruct students.
clipped from

Among the findings is that although reading scores among elementary school students have been improving, scores are flat among middle school students and slightly declining among high school seniors. These trends are concurrent with a falloff in daily pleasure reading among young people as they progress from elementary to high school, a drop that appears to continue once they enter college. The data also showed that students who read for fun nearly every day performed better on reading tests than those who reported reading never or hardly at all.

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