Considering the concept of equality of knowledge, the present study analyzes the variation in the percentage of correct answers given by 7,781 third-grade students (primary education) in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, on items considered difficult in the PAEBES-Alfa cognitive test administered in the 2014. The variation in the rate of correct answers was analyzed for two groups examined: high and low-performance classes. Of the set of skills assessed, five were analyzed for their degree of complexity, considering the linguistic aspects involved in their development. Our results indicate that the correct-answer rate variation between the classes is relatively small, thus suggesting that the acquisition of knowledge is relatively equitable. As for the most complex skills, low correct-answer rates were found for both groups of students. This reveals that most of the students in both high and low-performance classes did not consolidate their learning of more complex skills in the literacy stage (grades 1-3) of Brazilian primary education.
Reading skills assessment; Equality of knowledge; Educational inequalities