On average, in 2017, female 8th graders scored 10 points higher than male 8th graders on the reading portion of the Average National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Fourth grade students, overall, improved 5 points between 1992 and 2017, while 8th grade students, overall, improved 7 points between 1992 and 2017.

Some 34% of students are below basic reading level in the fourth grade, according to the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Another 31% are below the proficient reading level.

About 27% of eighth grade students are below basic reading level, per NCESAnother 39% are below the proficient reading level.

Children of adults with low literacy skills are 72% more likely to be at a low reading level in school, according to ProLiteracy.

Two out of every 10 children enter kindergarten with skills two to three years lower than their grade level, and another two, start school with a one-year disadvantage, according to the Children’s Reading Foundation.

Students who are behind typically make only one year’s worth of progress at each grade level, keeping them behind their classmates throughout school and making them more likely to repeat grades.

About 80% of children living in economically disadvantaged communities will lose reading skills over summer breaks due to a lack of access to books and other resources, according to Reading Is Fundamental.

Some 4.5 million young adults (aged 16 to 24) are “disconnected” — meaning they are not in school or working, according to Measure of AmericaThese individuals often lack a high school diploma or GED.

Students who are behind when they start kindergarten make up the largest portion of school dropouts. These students have a less than 12% chance of attending college, according to the Children’s Reading Foundation.

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