PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Annie E. Casey Foundation, long concerned about the effects of poverty on reading achievement has announced the results of a national study of nearly 4,000 students born between 1979 and 1989, whose families were surveyed every two years to determine their economic status.

Findings showed that those who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers.

And 22% of children who have lived in poverty do not graduate from high school compared with 6% who have never been poor. This rises to 32% for those who have spent more than half their lives in poverty.

Graduation rates for Black and Hispanic students lagged far behind those for White students with the same reading skills. It’s double jeopardy — poverty and reading skills do influence high school graduation.

Resources for poor families, more responsibility for the schools and policies by local, state and federal organizations can influence the extent of poverty for children. Read these important findings at

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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