While educators have made good progress in teaching children to decode (that is, turn print into speech sounds), it is disheartening that we still have not overcome the fourth-grade slump in reading comprehension. We are finding that even though the vast majority of our youngest readers can manage simple texts, many students – particularly those from low-income families – struggle when it comes time in grade four to tackle more advanced academic texts.
E. D. Hirsch, Jr., (2003). Reading comprehension requires knowledge of words and the world. American Educator, 27(1), 10-13.