CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — More than seven in 10 West Virginia children aren't reading proficiently by the end of third grade.
That's the latest finding from West Virginia KIDS COUNT (http://bit.ly/15FB8yf).
An info-graphic released Tuesday shows 73 percent of children are failing to meet the standards, and that's 5 percentage points worse than the national average.
KIDS COUNT Executive Director Margie Hale says three-fourths of those children will remain poor readers throughout high school. One in six won't graduate.
She says West Virginia is failing its youngest children and must do better.
Third-grade reading scores are considered important because at that age, children are still learning to read.
By fourth grade, Hale says, they are "reading to learn."
Fourth-graders who can't read well by that age are unlikely to ever catch up.