Davenport school officials dispute a report that claims nearly 80-percent of the black eighth-graders who were tested can’t read. The statistic comes from a report called “The State of Black Iowa.” It was mentioned in stories regarding legislation introduced this week to toughen attendance laws and standards. Christie Wallace Noring is the school district’s public communications officer. She admits the latest Iowa Test of Educational Development shows that only 22 percent of Davenport’s African-American students are proficient readers. But she says that means they aren’t reading at grade level — not that they can’t read at all. Noring says the test reveals that more than 58 percent of the district’sEuro-American students read proficiently.
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