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Reading on Rise

Reading on Rise

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Published by Robals_jals
Reading on the Rise, the National Endowment for the Arts’ new
report, documents a significant turning point in recent American cultural
history. For the first time in over a quarter-century, our survey shows
that literary reading has risen among adult Americans. After decades of
declining trends, there has been a decisive and unambiguous increase
among virtually every group measured in this comprehensive national
survey.
Reading on the Rise, the National Endowment for the Arts’ new
report, documents a significant turning point in recent American cultural
history. For the first time in over a quarter-century, our survey shows
that literary reading has risen among adult Americans. After decades of
declining trends, there has been a decisive and unambiguous increase
among virtually every group measured in this comprehensive national
survey.

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Published by: Robals_jals on Jan 25, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/23/2013

 
National Endowment
 
for the
 
Arts
eading
 
on
 
the
ise
a n
ew
C
hapteR 
 
in
a
meRiCan
L
iteRaCy
 
National Endowment for the Arts
II
 
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”
— Margaret Fuller
 
Reading on the Rise
1
Reading on the Rise 
, the National Endowment or the Arts’ new report, documents a signicant turning point in recent American culturalhistory. For the rst time in over a quarter-century, our survey showsthat literary reading has risen among adult Americans. Ater decades o declining trends, there has been a decisive and unambiguous increaseamong virtually every group measured in this comprehensive nationalsurvey. Whites, Arican Americans, and Hispanics have all shown signicant growth in their readingrates, as have both adult men and women. There have been similar improvements in adultsacross most educational levels and age groups. Combined with general population growth, thesehigher reading rates have expanded literary readership by 16.6 million—creating the largestaudience in the history o the survey.Best o all, the most signicant growth has been among young adults, the group that hadshown the largest declines in earlier surveys. The youngest group (ages 18-24) has undergone aparticularly inspiring transormation rom a 20 percent decline in 2002 to a 21 percent increasein 2008—a startling level o change. At the Arts Endowment we have paid particular attentionto this crucial cohort. During their high school years, they were the target o the largest literary initiatives in the agency’s history, and we note their progress with particular satisaction.One might well ask i the new data are too good to be true. We are condent that the new survey is both accurate in measuring current behavior and ully comparable to earlier surveys.Our sample size is enormous—roughly 20 times the size o the average media poll—andcareully balanced by the Census Bureau to refect the present U.S. population. Our corequestionnaire has remained undamentally consistent or 26 years. There is no other survey withsuch detailed and reliable data on the subject. The impressive new survey results raise an obvious question—what happened in the past six years to revitalize American literary reading? There is no statistical answer to this question. The NEA survey does not identiy the causes either or adult reading or or changes in readingbehavior. But our 26 years o detailed statistical data—augmented by data rom the dozens o other substantial studies summarized in the NEA’s
To Read or Not to Read 
report—do providesome basis to make an intelligent hypothesis.In building a theory to explain this sudden reversal o long-term trends, it is important toremember that the results measure only adult reading and that the rise has occurred among virtually all adult groups. The results do not refect the specic impact o the many excellentprograms ound in elementary or middle schools. The survey, however, does capture reading
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Excellent to hear Americans are reading more. This had me concerned.
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