ABSTRACT: In this paper, we describe one of a series of studies at Hunter College to determine whether students' reading proficiency affects their performance on mathematics "word" problems. Based on this study, we reached some specific conclusions:
1. Reading ability is a separate, quantifiable factor which impacts the performance of all students on mathematics word problems.
2. Less complex writing leads to better results on word problems for all students.
3. Less complex writing leads to even more improvement in test results for “weaker” readers [those needing reading remediation] than for “average” readers [those exempting reading remediation].