Berger Praises Student Gains under ‘Read to Achieve’ Program

North Carolina fourth graders taking the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading scored better than the national average and four points higher on average than their peers two years ago.

The gain follows the implementation of Read to Achieve, a major accountability initiative passed by Republican lawmakers in 2012 to ensure literacy among third grade students. Since the law’s passage, the legislature has invested generously in focused reading camps, special literacy-intensive classrooms and other resources for students who are struggling to read.

“Fourth grade is typically when students stop learning to read and start reading to learn,” said Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) on Wednesday. “Those who can’t master this basic life skill will face a lifetime of hardship, and I am delighted to see the Read to Achieve program is making real progress at preparing North Carolina students for future success.”

N.C.’s 4th Grade Reading Scores are Up Under Read to Achieve


Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Over the last ten years, about one-third of North Carolina fourth graders scored “below basic” on the NAEP reading test. Studies have shown that students who do not read at grade-level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out. Conservative state leaders who support the Read to Achieve law believe a focus on improving literacy will reduce poverty and government dependency, provide a better-skilled workforce and strengthen the state’s economy.