Woman reading in the 1920s

Curriculum comparison discloses 24-year nosedive in reading ability

The Culture

Have you ever thought that high school graduates today… well, just don’t seem to know or understand as much as they once did?

According to a new research report from the Urban Institute, such a thought is not simply a result of generational pride. Data from The Nation’s Report Card (NAEP) confirms the assumption that recent generations of high school students are not doing as well as they once were.

Take reading scores. As the chart below demonstrates, 4th and 8th grade reading scores have experienced an increase in the years since 1992. High school seniors, however, have experienced a steady decline in reading scores over the same time period.

Is it possible that these falling scores are the result of diminished rigor in the high school curriculum?

Having recently dug up a curriculum manual for Texas high schools from 1922, I decided to explore this question by comparing its 9th grade reading recommendations with those the San Antonio Independent School District recommended for the 2015-16 school year.

This article continues at [Intellectual Takeout] 9th Grade Reading Lists: 1922 Vs. Today

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