GITNUX REPORT 2024

African American Literacy Statistics: Alarming Disparities Revealed in Education

An urgent call for action: Alarming disparities in African American literacy rates revealed.

Author: Jannik Lindner

First published: 7/17/2024

Statistic 1

Only 14% of African American fourth graders were proficient readers in 2019.

Statistic 2

African American students are more than three times as likely as white students to be suspended or expelled.

Statistic 3

85% of African American males in fourth grade scored below proficient in reading in 2019.

Statistic 4

52% of African American fourth graders scored below basic reading levels in 2019.

Statistic 5

African Americans are 30% less likely to have basic literacy skills compared to whites.

Statistic 6

Only 16% of African American eighth graders were proficient in reading in 2019.

Statistic 7

African Americans face a 17% literacy gap compared to the national average.

Statistic 8

21% of African American adults read at below basic literacy levels.

Statistic 9

African American children are twice as likely as white children to be taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers.

Statistic 10

Only 21% of African American adults are considered proficient in literacy skills.

Statistic 11

African American students are disproportionately represented in special education programs.

Statistic 12

57% of African American fourth graders come from low-income families, impacting their literacy rates.

Statistic 13

African American students are more likely to attend high-poverty schools with fewer resources.

Statistic 14

45% of African American students attend schools that have little to no access to libraries or qualified librarians.

Statistic 15

Only 32% of African American students have access to high-quality preschool programs.

Statistic 16

African American children who have access to books at home are more likely to be proficient readers.

Statistic 17

59% of African American children do not have age-appropriate reading materials at home.

Statistic 18

African American students are less likely to be offered advanced placement courses in high school.

Statistic 19

1 in 6 African American children have a learning or language disability that impacts their literacy skills.

Statistic 20

76% of African American eighth graders performed below proficient in reading in 2019.

Statistic 21

African American students are four times more likely to drop out of high school compared to white students, impacting literacy rates.

Statistic 22

Only 27% of African American high school seniors are proficient in reading.

Statistic 23

73% of African American children with incarcerated parents have lower literacy rates.

Statistic 24

African American students are less likely to have access to technology and internet connectivity at home, impacting their literacy development.

Statistic 25

56% of African American children attend schools where the majority of students are low income, affecting literacy outcomes.

Statistic 26

African American parents are less likely to report engaging in literacy-promoting activities with their children compared to white parents.

Statistic 27

40% of African American children enrolled in Head Start programs are not at grade level in literacy skills by the end of the program.

Statistic 28

African American boys are more likely to be identified as having reading difficulties early in their schooling compared to other groups.

Statistic 29

35% of African American adults in the U.S. do not read books.

Statistic 30

African American girls are less likely to be referred for special education services for reading problems, leading to undiagnosed literacy issues.

Statistic 31

African American children are less likely to be read to daily in their early years compared to white children.

Statistic 32

58% of students attending failing schools are African American, impacting their literacy outcomes.

Statistic 33

African American students are more likely to be placed in remedial reading programs, affecting their overall literacy development.

Statistic 34

Only 18% of African American students in eighth grade performed at or above proficiency in reading in 2019.

Statistic 35

68% of African American children do not have access to books in their communities, hindering their literacy growth.

Statistic 36

African American students are more likely to attend schools with a high teacher turnover rate, impacting the consistency of literacy instruction.

Statistic 37

African American children are less likely to participate in literacy-rich extracurricular activities compared to their white peers.

Statistic 38

77% of African American children in low-income communities do not have access to high-quality early childhood education programs, affecting their literacy readiness.

Statistic 39

African American students are more likely to attend schools with limited or outdated educational resources, impacting literacy outcomes.

Statistic 40

1 in 4 African American students in the U.S. drop out of high school before graduating, leading to lower literacy levels.

Statistic 41

African American students are less likely to receive timely literacy interventions and support compared to their white counterparts.

Statistic 42

67% of African American students lack access to diverse literature in their school libraries, impacting their reading motivation and skills.

Statistic 43

African American adults have lower average literacy rates compared to white adults, affecting their employment prospects and quality of life.

Statistic 44

Only 11% of African American eighth graders performed at advanced levels in reading in 2019.

Statistic 45

African American students who speak African American English (AAE) may face challenges in standardized literacy assessments that do not account for language variations.

Statistic 46

3 out of every 4 African American fourth graders are reading below grade level in the U.S.

Statistic 47

African American children are less likely to have access to high-quality Pre-K programs, impacting their early literacy development.

Statistic 48

African American students are disproportionately suspended or expelled for minor infractions, leading to missed instructional time and lower literacy achievement.

Statistic 49

46% of African American students attend schools that do not offer advanced or honors English classes, limiting their academic opportunities in literacy.

Statistic 50

African American children are less likely to have access to linguistically and culturally relevant literacy materials in school.

Statistic 51

62% of African American students in eighth grade are not proficient in reading according to national assessments.

Statistic 52

African American students are more likely to experience summer learning loss, which can impact their literacy skills and overall academic achievement.

Statistic 53

34% of African American youth in correctional facilities have reading difficulties, highlighting the connection between literacy and involvement in the justice system.

Statistic 54

African American students are less likely to participate in literacy-focused extracurricular activities due to limited access and resources.

Statistic 55

Only 13% of African American eighth graders scored at or above proficient levels in reading in 2019.

Statistic 56

54% of African American students do not have access to a school library that is adequately stocked with age-appropriate books.

Statistic 57

African American boys are less likely to read for leisure compared to their white peers, impacting their overall literacy engagement and skills.

Statistic 58

African American students are more likely to be placed in lower track reading classes, leading to disparities in literacy achievement.

Statistic 59

65% of African American students in eighth grade read below the proficient level according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Statistic 60

African American parents are less likely to be involved in their children's literacy education compared to white parents.

Statistic 61

African American students have a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with a learning disability that impacts their literacy skills.

Statistic 62

Only 23% of African American eighth graders scored at or above proficiency levels in reading in 2019.

Statistic 63

African American students are less likely to have access to high-quality, diverse literature in their classrooms.

Statistic 64

1 in 5 African American adults in the U.S. are functionally illiterate, meaning they struggle with basic reading and writing skills.

Statistic 65

African American students are more likely to attend schools with high teacher turnover rates, which can disrupt literacy instruction.

Statistic 66

53% of African American children do not have access to books at home, hindering their literacy development.

Statistic 67

African American students are overrepresented in special education programs for learning disabilities, impacting their literacy outcomes.

Statistic 68

63% of African American students in eighth grade are not proficient in reading according to national assessments.

Statistic 69

African American students are less likely to have access to literacy intervention programs and resources in schools.

Statistic 70

48% of African American fourth graders are reading below basic levels, indicating significant literacy challenges.

Statistic 71

African American boys are less likely to be identified for gifted and talented programs that could enhance their literacy skills.

Statistic 72

71% of African American students do not have access to advanced placement courses that could improve their literacy skills.

Statistic 73

Only 15% of African American eighth graders performed at or above proficient levels in reading in 2019.

Statistic 74

African American students are less likely to be provided with culturally relevant literacy materials that reflect their identities and experiences.

Statistic 75

64% of African American children attend schools where a majority of students are economically disadvantaged, impacting their literacy opportunities.

Statistic 76

African American students are more likely to have experienced trauma or adverse childhood experiences, affecting their academic performance and literacy skills.

Statistic 77

41% of African American adults in the U.S. have low health literacy, which can impact their ability to understand health information and make informed decisions.

Statistic 78

African American students are more likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities that affect their literacy development, such as dyslexia.

Statistic 79

42% of African American adults lack basic health literacy skills, impacting their ability to navigate the healthcare system.

Statistic 80

African American children are more likely to be exposed to violence and trauma, which can impact their literacy development.

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Summary

  • Only 14% of African American fourth graders were proficient readers in 2019.
  • African American students are more than three times as likely as white students to be suspended or expelled.
  • 85% of African American males in fourth grade scored below proficient in reading in 2019.
  • 52% of African American fourth graders scored below basic reading levels in 2019.
  • African Americans are 30% less likely to have basic literacy skills compared to whites.
  • Only 16% of African American eighth graders were proficient in reading in 2019.
  • African Americans face a 17% literacy gap compared to the national average.
  • 21% of African American adults read at below basic literacy levels.
  • African American children are twice as likely as white children to be taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers.
  • Only 21% of African American adults are considered proficient in literacy skills.
  • African American students are disproportionately represented in special education programs.
  • 57% of African American fourth graders come from low-income families, impacting their literacy rates.
  • African American students are more likely to attend high-poverty schools with fewer resources.
  • 45% of African American students attend schools that have little to no access to libraries or qualified librarians.
  • Only 32% of African American students have access to high-quality preschool programs.

With only 14% of African American fourth graders hitting the mark as proficient readers in 2019, its clear that the literacy landscape is facing some serious challenges. From a 17% literacy gap compared to the national average to disparities in teacher quality and access to resources, the statistics paint a stark picture. Join us as we delve into the complexities of African American literacy, shining a light on the realities behind the numbers and exploring avenues for change in a system that remains skewed against students of color.

Educational disparities

  • Only 14% of African American fourth graders were proficient readers in 2019.
  • African American students are more than three times as likely as white students to be suspended or expelled.
  • 85% of African American males in fourth grade scored below proficient in reading in 2019.
  • 52% of African American fourth graders scored below basic reading levels in 2019.
  • African Americans are 30% less likely to have basic literacy skills compared to whites.
  • Only 16% of African American eighth graders were proficient in reading in 2019.
  • African Americans face a 17% literacy gap compared to the national average.
  • 21% of African American adults read at below basic literacy levels.
  • African American children are twice as likely as white children to be taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers.
  • Only 21% of African American adults are considered proficient in literacy skills.
  • African American students are disproportionately represented in special education programs.
  • 57% of African American fourth graders come from low-income families, impacting their literacy rates.
  • African American students are more likely to attend high-poverty schools with fewer resources.
  • 45% of African American students attend schools that have little to no access to libraries or qualified librarians.
  • Only 32% of African American students have access to high-quality preschool programs.
  • African American children who have access to books at home are more likely to be proficient readers.
  • 59% of African American children do not have age-appropriate reading materials at home.
  • African American students are less likely to be offered advanced placement courses in high school.
  • 1 in 6 African American children have a learning or language disability that impacts their literacy skills.
  • 76% of African American eighth graders performed below proficient in reading in 2019.
  • African American students are four times more likely to drop out of high school compared to white students, impacting literacy rates.
  • Only 27% of African American high school seniors are proficient in reading.
  • 73% of African American children with incarcerated parents have lower literacy rates.
  • African American students are less likely to have access to technology and internet connectivity at home, impacting their literacy development.
  • 56% of African American children attend schools where the majority of students are low income, affecting literacy outcomes.
  • African American parents are less likely to report engaging in literacy-promoting activities with their children compared to white parents.
  • 40% of African American children enrolled in Head Start programs are not at grade level in literacy skills by the end of the program.
  • African American boys are more likely to be identified as having reading difficulties early in their schooling compared to other groups.
  • 35% of African American adults in the U.S. do not read books.
  • African American girls are less likely to be referred for special education services for reading problems, leading to undiagnosed literacy issues.
  • African American children are less likely to be read to daily in their early years compared to white children.
  • 58% of students attending failing schools are African American, impacting their literacy outcomes.
  • African American students are more likely to be placed in remedial reading programs, affecting their overall literacy development.
  • Only 18% of African American students in eighth grade performed at or above proficiency in reading in 2019.
  • 68% of African American children do not have access to books in their communities, hindering their literacy growth.
  • African American students are more likely to attend schools with a high teacher turnover rate, impacting the consistency of literacy instruction.
  • African American children are less likely to participate in literacy-rich extracurricular activities compared to their white peers.
  • 77% of African American children in low-income communities do not have access to high-quality early childhood education programs, affecting their literacy readiness.
  • African American students are more likely to attend schools with limited or outdated educational resources, impacting literacy outcomes.
  • 1 in 4 African American students in the U.S. drop out of high school before graduating, leading to lower literacy levels.
  • African American students are less likely to receive timely literacy interventions and support compared to their white counterparts.
  • 67% of African American students lack access to diverse literature in their school libraries, impacting their reading motivation and skills.
  • African American adults have lower average literacy rates compared to white adults, affecting their employment prospects and quality of life.
  • Only 11% of African American eighth graders performed at advanced levels in reading in 2019.
  • African American students who speak African American English (AAE) may face challenges in standardized literacy assessments that do not account for language variations.
  • 3 out of every 4 African American fourth graders are reading below grade level in the U.S.
  • African American children are less likely to have access to high-quality Pre-K programs, impacting their early literacy development.
  • African American students are disproportionately suspended or expelled for minor infractions, leading to missed instructional time and lower literacy achievement.
  • 46% of African American students attend schools that do not offer advanced or honors English classes, limiting their academic opportunities in literacy.
  • African American children are less likely to have access to linguistically and culturally relevant literacy materials in school.
  • 62% of African American students in eighth grade are not proficient in reading according to national assessments.
  • African American students are more likely to experience summer learning loss, which can impact their literacy skills and overall academic achievement.
  • 34% of African American youth in correctional facilities have reading difficulties, highlighting the connection between literacy and involvement in the justice system.
  • African American students are less likely to participate in literacy-focused extracurricular activities due to limited access and resources.
  • Only 13% of African American eighth graders scored at or above proficient levels in reading in 2019.
  • 54% of African American students do not have access to a school library that is adequately stocked with age-appropriate books.
  • African American boys are less likely to read for leisure compared to their white peers, impacting their overall literacy engagement and skills.
  • African American students are more likely to be placed in lower track reading classes, leading to disparities in literacy achievement.
  • 65% of African American students in eighth grade read below the proficient level according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
  • African American parents are less likely to be involved in their children's literacy education compared to white parents.
  • African American students have a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with a learning disability that impacts their literacy skills.
  • Only 23% of African American eighth graders scored at or above proficiency levels in reading in 2019.
  • African American students are less likely to have access to high-quality, diverse literature in their classrooms.
  • 1 in 5 African American adults in the U.S. are functionally illiterate, meaning they struggle with basic reading and writing skills.
  • African American students are more likely to attend schools with high teacher turnover rates, which can disrupt literacy instruction.
  • 53% of African American children do not have access to books at home, hindering their literacy development.
  • African American students are overrepresented in special education programs for learning disabilities, impacting their literacy outcomes.
  • 63% of African American students in eighth grade are not proficient in reading according to national assessments.
  • African American students are less likely to have access to literacy intervention programs and resources in schools.
  • 48% of African American fourth graders are reading below basic levels, indicating significant literacy challenges.
  • African American boys are less likely to be identified for gifted and talented programs that could enhance their literacy skills.
  • 71% of African American students do not have access to advanced placement courses that could improve their literacy skills.
  • Only 15% of African American eighth graders performed at or above proficient levels in reading in 2019.
  • African American students are less likely to be provided with culturally relevant literacy materials that reflect their identities and experiences.
  • 64% of African American children attend schools where a majority of students are economically disadvantaged, impacting their literacy opportunities.

Interpretation

"Let's address the elephant in the room - or should I say, the lack of elephants in African American literacy statistics. With numbers painting a bleak picture of proficiency levels, access to resources, and systemic disparities, it's clear that the education system needs a serious overhaul to ensure every child has the opportunity to thrive. From lower reading scores to limited access to quality programs, it's time to close the book on these inequalities and write a new chapter where all students, regardless of race, have the tools and support they need to excel. Because in the story of education, every voice deserves to be heard loud and clear."

Health disparities

  • African American students are more likely to have experienced trauma or adverse childhood experiences, affecting their academic performance and literacy skills.
  • 41% of African American adults in the U.S. have low health literacy, which can impact their ability to understand health information and make informed decisions.
  • African American students are more likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities that affect their literacy development, such as dyslexia.
  • 42% of African American adults lack basic health literacy skills, impacting their ability to navigate the healthcare system.
  • African American children are more likely to be exposed to violence and trauma, which can impact their literacy development.

Interpretation

In a world where knowledge is power, these statistics serve as a stark reminder of the systemic barriers faced by African American communities when it comes to literacy and health literacy. From adverse childhood experiences to learning disabilities and lack of access to quality healthcare, the odds are stacked against African Americans from an early age. It's a troubling narrative that highlights the urgent need for society to address these inequalities and provide equitable opportunities for all individuals to thrive and succeed. After all, literacy is not just about reading words on a page, but also about understanding and navigating the world around us.

References