Utah kids reading proficiency lower than national average

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A new study finds Utah has a long way to go when it comes to kids reading proficiently.

Kids Count and the Annie E. Casey Foundation released their national findings Tuesday.

When it comes to the number of fourth-graders who read at grade level, 69 percent of Utah kids scored below proficient levels. That's above the national rate of 68 percent.

Educators want kids to read at grade level by the fourth grade because the rest of their education depends on it.

"Up until third grade, children are learning to read. After third grade they read to learn, so if they don't have that basic skill it impacts them for the rest of their life," says Abel Ortiz with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The study recommends:

  • Improving early childhood education
  • Focusing on parental involvement
  • Holding low-income communities to higher education standards
  • Overcoming absenteeism and summer learning loss

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