Report: Low-income Mich. students lag in reading

A report by a private foundation says 81 percent of Michigan's lower-income fourth-graders and 69 percent of all kids aren't reading proficiently.
AP Wire
Jan 29, 2014

The finding was part of a Kids Count data snapshot released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The report titled "Early Reading Proficiency in the United States" says Michigan is one of six states that didn't make progress in reading over the last decade.

Jane Zehnder-Merrell of the Michigan League for Public Policy said in a statement that the findings are "truly alarming."

The report also says that 81 percent of Michigan children from low-income families are not reading at a proficient level compared with 56 percent from higher-income families. Nationally, the gap has grown while Michigan's has remained the same.

Link to report:



Throw more money at it, surely it will work then..right ??


This result is surprising how?


I think this issue is a bit racist in our own neighborhood, reminds me when they closed Elliot School and transferred the students to other schools, the response was, Rosey Mound School and other schools do not want Elloit school kids in their school, they are poor people on welfare, trouble makers and cant read, under achievers in other words !!!!

Former Grandhavenite

I remember how even kids at GHHS looked down on the kids from Elliott. Of the kids I met from Elliott- they may not have been "book smart" in the traditional way, but they were way more worldly and knowledgeable in terms of "street smarts" and could probably function better in adult society than the average GHHS kid. The GHHS'er could recite you the quadratic formula, but the Elliott kid actually knew what to do when your car won't start, and knew how to balance a check book (Do people even do that anymore?)

Former Grandhavenite

The 69% of all kids that aren't reading at their grade level is probably more disturbing than the number for lower income kids. Typically lower income kids have had lower scores on tests like that as would be expected. It really indicates that something is systemically wrong with the way we're teaching reading, or perhaps the standards themselves are overly ambitious, if the majority of kids regardless of income level aren't reading proficiently.

You hear about how the schools should be all STEM, all the time, but if someone is terrible at reading and writing (which are very closely related to thinking) they're not going to be a very good engineer, let alone an informed consumer of information. I think if anything, there's way too much of a mindset among educators of, "Hey, if we can have 7th graders doing calculus all of our problems will be solved!"

Former Grandhavenite

Double post. Trib site is quite slow today.


I have mentored/tutored young local children who lived in poverty conditions, and that, at age 6-7, never owned a book. The look of utter delight when I would bring them a book of their own, and helped them write their names in the inside cover, was heartbreaking.

Former Grandhavenite

That's a great thing to be involved with. You're making a difference, at least for those specific kids. I remember one time in maybe 4th or 5th grade that everyone in class got to pick three books from this huge list with brief descriptions, and then you received them free of charge a couple weeks later. I think it was sponsored by some foundation. It got the kids more interested since they were in control of which books they received, so they were more likely to actually read them.


This sounds like RIF (Reading is Fundamental). I was very active with this program years ago in another state - great program that makes sure every child has access to books.

Beach Gal

Entirely too much attention is devoted to the poor. By and large the poor create their own problems via their bad decisions. They have children at too young of an age, have too many children, and don't go far enough in school. Dumb parents = dumb kids and the cycle of poverty continues.


You hit the nail on the head.


Any solutions?


Take what she said and do the opposite? In other words, keep your pants on until you're old enough to take of yourself first. Spend your time reading and educating yourself instead of succumbing to the more baser human instincts.....any questions?


I can't bite my tongue on this any longer. The only thing stopping me from really going off is that you said by and large. I will agree with you that if you can't afford kids, don't have them. What to you is not far enough in school? Dumb parents = Dumb kids? Really? What does no parents equal? What does one widow parent =? Parents that were fine when they had kids but something devastated them economically =. Really, I want your response.



really, the poor created their own problems, i was born in to this family and have no other choice who and where i live and go to school, go just a few miles north and tell them that, they will eat you alive, its easy to sit behind a computer and call people bad things and sit in your little protected world, i know college kids that dont even know how to use a vacuum or use a shovel or never experienced sweeping the kitchen floor because their mommy don't cook and clean, so they where never taught the basics, i know plenty of kids that grewup in poor family's that are now doctors and lawyers and make a pay check, so get off that excuse of being poor, they just dont have an extra loaf of bread in the freezer like you do, i just ran into a women yesterday in walmarts ahead of me, he groceries came to $800.00 and she had 3 carts, ladies give me that stuff and will show you how to double your money because i was taught how to survive


Oh give me a break. I raised my children in poverty...guess what we did at least once a week....went to the library so my kids could check out books. GHAPS would even open some schools in the summer for kids to check out backpack books. Being poor has nothing to do with kids not knowing how to read.


You seem like a great mom - your kids are lucky.


Thank You! I have great kids who turned into awesome adults!

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