Closing the achievement gap in education is considered an imperative in many circles. In communities across the country, low-income students and those with disabilities or without native English skills lag behind their counterparts in measures such as test scores.
Berks County is no exception. Looking at the key milestones of 3rd grade reading and 8th grade math, 60% of all 3rd graders and 33% of all 8th graders reached proficiency on state tests. That compares to 43% of historically underperforming 3rd graders and 17% of historically underperforming 8th graders. Historically underperforming students include students who come from economical
The City of Reading faces significant challenges: median household incomes have declined nearly 30% since 2000, 40% of residents live in poverty, and rent is largely unaffordable, consuming almost half of renters’ income on average. Yet, despite these challenges, the City is showing signs of vitality and improvement, including growing diversity and youthfulness, improved crime rates, and increased high school graduation.
Reading has seen a dramatic change in its demographics since 2000, with a 78% increase in its share of Hispanics, making it a majority minority city. In 2016, FiveThirtyEight highlighted that Reading’s dem