In 2002, 30 percent of fourth-grade students in the United States were reading at or above proficiency levels. Seventeen years later, in 2019, that number had risen only to 36 percent. In some places, it has actually declined.
Frankly, I am horrified not only by the lack of progress after nearly two decades, but also how low the number is in the first place. In the richest country in the world, it’s shameful.
In 1940, 90 percent of children were earning more than their parents. In 2017, that number was below 50 percent—at a time when the cost of living, especially for basic needs, is significantly greater than it has ever been. No wonder the American dream is fading.
I’m excited to announce that the “Finding Common Purpose” blog is migrating to my new website. There you’ll also find links to my new podcast—see below for a preview —which will feature the interviews on which many of my previous posts have been based, as well as new content to come. Those of you who subscribe to this blog won’t have to do anything with this change; we’ll be sure to keep you on the list.