NAEP Reading Scores

Kentucky's 4th and 8th graders are making headlines for scoring higher than the national average in reading.

According to the 2005 results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress: 4th graders scored 220 in reading, while the nation averaged 217.

Eighth graders in the state averaged a score of 264, while the nation scored 260.

The scale ranges from zero to 500.

The Kentucky Department of Education says it's required under the "No Child Left Behind Act for states to develop their own curriculum standards, and decide what scores students must achieve in order to be considered proficient.

With these recent scores, WBKO spoke to a reading teacher about how she gets kids interested in the subject.

Marsha Kerr, a reading teacher, says she often runs into people who think reading is limited to books, but you actually do it in everyday life.

She says: "I find the importance is trying to understand filling out an application, being able to read the directions on their medication containers. All of those things are real world reading and they are as important if not more important."

As a teacher, Marsha is working to get her students involved in reading.

She says: "I definitely believe that by the time kids get to middle school many of their reading habits are already established."

Marsha says some may not like to read because it seems difficult.
"We have kids who are going to read no matter what and we have kids who are struggling readers."

She says there's many reasons why kids may struggle when they open a novel. "The words are too hard, they don't have a connection with what the story is about, reading may not be a priority at home."

So Marsha strives to find something for everyone. All of her students are allowed to choose their own books she simply approves them.

Marsha says students simply need to find what they enjoy and a way to bring that story into their lives for reading to be more enjoyable.

For more information on the NAEP scores, you can log onto: Current+Press+Releases+and+Advisories/05-061.htm target=new>