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"to read or not to read"

Last week, the NEA issued a new report on reading and literacy in America, titled "To Read or Not to Read," as a follow-up to 2004's "Reading at Risk." This compendium of more than 40 studies paints a depressing portrait, beginning with Dana Gioia's Preface:

The story the data tell is simple, consistent, and alarming. Although there has been measurable progress in recent years in reading ability at the elementary school level, all progress appears to halt as children enter their teenage years. There is a general decline in reading among teenage and adult Americans. Most alarming, both reading ability and the habit of regular reading have greatly declined among college graduates.

Interested readers may wish to read not just the Executive Summary (820KB PDF), but also the full report (3.4MB PDF).

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