If you’re planning to be reincarnated as a poor black child, make sure not to be born in Michigan, advises Matthew Ladner, who’s graphed state scores in fourth-grade reading on the 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). If you value literacy, avoid Iowa, Maine and Washington D.C. too.
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Florida are relative good choices. Low-income, black fourth-graders in Massachusetts read 2.5 grade levels ahead of similar students in Michigan, Ladner writes.
Massachusetts also is first in reading for low-income fourth-grade students of all races. In D.C. and Alaska, the average low-income fourth-grader reads nearly as poorly as a first grader in Massachusetts.
A fourth-grader with first-grade reading skills is doomed.