Reading Proficiency

The HCI Reading Proficiency indicator measures the proportion of students at either the third or fourth grade with the ability to read at, or above, their grade level. Children with high reading levels by fourth grade are more likely to graduate from high school and have better health as they get older. High reading proficiency has been linked to a reduction in alcohol abuse, violence, diabetes, retinopathy, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, hospitalization, HIV, cancer, and asthma. Although featured in the Educational Opportunities domain, reading proficiency is also tied to the employment, economic health, social cohesion, health systems and public safety, and neighborhood characteristics domains. The percent of third or fourth grade students meeting or exceeding “proficient” reading levels is available from local school systems.

Neighborhoodsort descending Indicator Value Rank
Blackstone 60.7% 2
Charles 59.4% 5
College Hill 61.8% 1
Downtown 54.8% 12
Elmhurst 57.5% 9
Elmwood 51.3% 18
Federal Hill 56.3% 11
Fox Point 57.1% 10
Hartford 49.2% 21
Hope 51.4% 17
Lower South Providence 52.8% 15
Manton 50.5% 19
Mount Hope 59.3% 6
Mount Pleasant 50.1% 20
Olneyville 53.7% 13
Reservoir 46.2% 24
Silver Lake 49.0% 22
Smith Hill 60.7% 2
South Elmwood 47.6% 23
Upper South Providence 53.2% 14
Valley 57.6% 8
Wanskuck 58.5% 7
Washington Park 45.8% 25
Wayland 60.7% 2
West End 51.5% 16

Key Citations:
1. Barrington, Byron L. and Bryan Hendricks. “Differentiating Characteristics of High School Graduates, Dropouts, and Nongraduates” The Journal of Educational Research , Vol. 82, No. 6 (Jul. - Aug., 1989), pp. 309-319.
2. Berkman, Nancy D., et al. "Literacy and health outcomes: summary." (2004).
3. DeWalt, Darren A., et al. "Literacy and health outcomes." Journal of General Internal Medicine 19.12 (2004): 1228-1239.
4. Hernandez, Donald J. 2011. Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. April.
5. Lloyd, Dee Norman. "Prediction of school failure from third-grade data." Educational and Psychological Measurement 38.4 (1978): 1193-1200.
6. Paasche-Orlow, Michael K., and Michael S. Wolf. "The causal pathways linking health literacy to health outcomes." American Journal of Health Behavior 31.Supplement 1 (2007): S19-S26.
7. Schillinger, Dean, et al. "Does literacy mediate the relationship between education and health outcomes? A study of a low-income population with diabetes." Public health reports 121.3 (2006): 245.