Monday numbers: A closer look at North Carolina’s literacy gap

Monday numbers: A closer look at North Carolina’s literacy gap

- in Education, News, Top Story

Last week, education policymakers, researchers, foundations and corporate executives gathered for a national summit on adult literacy in Washington, D.C. The inaugural event hosted by the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy  was designed to look at evidence-based best practices for addressing the nation’s literacy crisis.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, one in five adults in the U.S. struggle to read basic sentences. This can impact everything from an individual’s earning potential to their health outcomes later in life.

This week’s Monday numbers column takes a closer look at the literacy gap and recent results from the Nation’s Report Card:

43 million – The number of adults in the U.S. who possess low literacy skills (Source: U.S. Department of Education)

28 – The percentage of adults in the Halifax County who lack basic literacy skills  (Source: Literacy Gap Map/Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy)

27 – The percentage of residents in Halifax County who live below the poverty line
(Ibid)

27 – The percentage of adults in Duplin County who lack basic literacy skills

26 – The percentage of residents in Duplin County who live below the poverty line

22 – The percentage of adults in Warren County who lack basic literacy skills

22 – The percentage of residents in Warren County who live below the poverty line

13 – The percentage of adults in Durham County who lack basic literacy skills

16 – The percentage of residents in Durham County who live below the poverty line

1 of 34 – North Carolina was one of 34 states this year that saw no significant improvement in its fourth-grade reading scores from 2017 (Source: NCDPI)

36 – The percentage of North Carolina fourth-graders who scored as proficient in reading during the 2018-19 school year on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment

39 – The percentage of North Carolina fourth graders who scored at or above NAEP’s proficient level in 2017

25 – In 2019, Black students had an average reading score that was 25 points lower than that for White students on the NAEP test.

21 – In 2019, Hispanic students had an average reading score that was 21 points lower than that for White students.

26 – Students who were eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in 2019 had an average score that was 26 points lower than that for students who were not eligible.

13 – the number of months since NC State’s College of Education issued a report (“Is Read to Achieve Making the Grade?”) that offered policy suggestions for improving the Read to Achieve program

1.4 trillion – New analysis by Gallup’s principal economist suggests the United States could be losing up to $1.4 trillion in gross domestic product due to low rates of adult literacy (Source: Politico)