Friday, February 23, 2007

High school seniors lag in math, reading

There is a jarring headline in today’s paper, from The Associated Press,
“High school seniors lag in math, reading.”

Unfortunately, that’s a little like the fire department racing to the top floor of a high-rise, when the fire is actually in the basement. These high school test scores simply reflect what happened to students years before.

The scores are from the National Assessment of Education Progress and represent the 2005 test results.

More than 25% of seniors were unable to score at the basic level on the reading test. The report didn’t indicate the percentage of boys VS girls. Based on other sources of information, I suspect that it’s the boys who are largely bringing down these scores, but that’s just speculation. What we do know is that boys give up, very early, on math and reading in school.

One state commissioner of education said that we are sleeping through a crisis.

The 2005 scores were no better than when the test was last given in 2002.

I was one of those boys who didn't like to read. Unlike today, where students are encouraged to read through a number of avenues, no one noticed, or encouraged me. This is the primary reason that I now write action-adventures and mysteries, especially for boys 8 – 13. My books work with boys!

Here are just a few comments:

North Woods Poachers

For the young pre-teen and early teen male, this is a must read. I gave the book to an 11 year old boy who does not read books unless forced to, and he read it cover to cover in one setting. One of the best series of books since Tom Swift came out 40 years ago.
The “North Woods Poachers" is a really exciting story. When I finished reading it I wanted to read it again. It's better than Nancy Drew mystery stories. The characters were so real that it seemed as if I was there as an onlooker - not just reading a book. There was just enough danger without being too scary. This book is perfect for kids who like mystery stories. Kaiti Wawrzyniak - age 11

Written in the manner of a good, old-fashioned “Hardy Boys”- style mystery,
From beginning to end I was wondering what was going to happen next. I just couldn't put it down. Usually my mom has to tell me to read at least 10 pages a day but she doesn't have to with this author. Brian Baden 14 yrs old
Terror at Wolf Lake

(PS from Caleb's Mom---I am not sure if I've ever seen my son so rivetedby a book---he was hooked and totally immersed himself in this read! Allliterature should so make a child soar like this book did!)

What a great story! I was hooked from page one to the end. It is rare that anything hooks me like that…except for Star Wars, of course.

Newspaper Caper

This is Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn if they lived in modern American suburbia.

Max Elliot Anderson will have moms everywhere enthusiastic about his books about young boy's adventure books - he is writing books for our children geared at some really challenging years, sometimes referred to as the "tween" years. These books were great for ME to read - and for my 7 1/2 year old son who is just now getting into "chapter books" as he calls them.

Mountain Cabin Mystery

My grandpa sent me your book. I read it and think it is very good. I really liked the old suspension bridge. I also really like the part where Al and Scott trick the terrorists with the laser pointer and camera flash. The end where you bring in the Army is really cool.

Check out all 7 books at under Max Elliot Anderson.

Read nearly 50 pages of reviews at

Here is a link to the AP story


Karen said...

And my son was one of them. He loves to read (mostly graphic novels and unusual stories like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, mind you, but at least he reads!), but he learned to read primarily from working with scripts. He began acting at an early age. Also, we read to both children from the time they could sit in our laps.

For our son, math is another story. He has just begun to make connections in the steps to work certain problems and solve various equations, probably because his brain matured at a slower rate due to 1) being a male and 2)having ADD. I am tutoring him through his college remedial math course (scary for both of us, as I am NOT a math person), and we are praying he passes the first time.

CE said...

This seems to be a global problem, the same trend is visible here in Europe.
The cure? Maybe better teachers and less TV.
Curt Eiworth

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