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Vox Sentences: American kids are having test troubles

National reading scores decline; Congress recognizes the Armenian genocide.

Javier Zarracina/Vox

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US students’ reading scores slip

  • Reading scores of eighth graders nationwide fell in over half of all states, with a slight decline overall. [New York Times / Erica L. Green and Dana Goldstein]
  • The National Assessment of Educational Progress exam marked declines in reading ability among all groups, but the biggest drop came from students with the lowest reading proficiency. [Chalkbeat / Kalyn Belsha]
  • Declining NAEP scores also occurred in 2013 and 2015, leading policymakers to debate the cause of shrinking proficiency numbers. [The Hechinger Report / Jill Barshay]
  • Coinciding with the release of the 2019 NAEP scores, new ACT score results reveal a 15-year low in the share of high school students meeting college-readiness math and reading benchmarks. [Inside Higher Ed / Elin Johnson]
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos expressed her concern that these scores indicate “two out of three of our nation’s children aren’t proficient readers.” [Politico / Nicole Gaudiano]
  • But some education experts and researchers argue that NAEP scores shouldn’t be used to evaluate the effectiveness of specific policies. [Education Week / Stephen Sawchuk]
  • Sociologist Adia Harvey Wingfield argues that the disinvestment in public schools is causing their decline, and leading to many forms of inequality. [Vox / Adia Harvey Wingfield]

Recognizing genocide, 100 years later

  • On Tuesday, the House voted to impose sanctions against Turkey in the wake of Turkey’s decision to launch an invasion into northern Syria and establish a buffer zone against Kurds in that area. [Axios]
  • Shortly afterwards, they also passed a measure that officially recognized the Armenian genocide in a compounded rebuke of Turkey. [CNN International / Jedd Rosche]
  • Recognition of the 1915-1923 murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the predecessors of people in Turkey, the Ottomans, is a big step for the Armenian community. [Los Angeles Magazine / Gwynedd Stuart]
  • Turkey has criticized the American move to recognize the violence against the Armenians and warns that it endangers US-Turkey relations “at an extremely fragile time.” [Al Jazeera]



“What we need is for our politicians and the people in power [to] start to listen to the current, best available science.” [Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg statement on why she turned down the Nordic Council’s 2019 Environmental Award]

Watch this: Why people think they see ghosts

This Halloween, you might see a ghost, but that doesn’t mean they actually exist. [YouTube / Dean Peterson]

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