In 2012, 100 percent of 7th grade students of Troy Prep Middle School scored proficient or advanced scores in standardized math tests. Only 50 percent met those same standards in reading and comprehension. For many schools with mainly low-income students, these are fairly common results. Thirty-one other schools in the same districts showed similar test scores, all with a high percentage of students from low-income homes.

A study by psychologists Betty Hart and Todd Risley in the 1980s showed that by age 4, children from low income families have heard 32 million fewer words than children from higher income families. Initial reading skills are best taught young, and when students enter school having a disadvantaged vocabulary it makes reading and keeping up with goals difficult.

SAT reading scores have reached a four-decade low in 2012; down by 34 points since 1972, while math scores remain largely unchanged. Experts say the change in SAT scores are related to the number of students taking the test. Forty-four percent were from minority groups, 25 percent were from low-income families and 25 percent were from families where English is not the spoken language. Of the 1.6 millions students who took the test, only 43 percent scored high enough to indicate likelihood of success in college.

Take a look at the infographic below for more.

Math is Hard, But Reading is Harder
Image compliments of Top Education Degrees


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