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Research Report

Girls, boys, and reading

Publication date:
Girls score higher than boys on tests of reading ability. They have for a long time. This section of the Brown Center Report assesses where the gender gap stands today and examines trends over the past several decades. The analysis also extends beyond the U.S. and shows that boys’ reading achievement lags that of girls in every country in the world on international assessments. The international dimension — recognizing that U.S. is not alone in this phenomenon — serves as a catalyst to discuss why the gender gap exists and whether it extends into adulthood.


Tom Loveless. How Well Are American Students Learning? Brown Center Report on American Education, March 2015, Volume 3, Number 4. The Brown Center on Education Policy, The Brookings Institution.