I'll see your bothersome study, and raise you two more:
Outside experts found no evidence to support public claims about widespread low literacy levels of a group of first-year University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student-athletes who had been screened for possible learning differences or learning disabilities between 2004 and 2012. Since January, those claims were widely reported in news media accounts and via social media.
According to an executive summary, the outside experts “also determined that the majority of the students referenced in the public claims scored at or above college entry level on the SATA Reading Vocabulary subtest. The data set was based on those scores.”
I've read the three outside reports and, although there was quite a bit of dithering about the quality of the SATA test itself, it does appear that earlier reports were incorrect. That said, I find it extremely ironic that UNC is happy with and touting studies they would have been embarrassed to acknowledge before:
Figure 2.1 shows that of the 176 student observations with valid RV scores, 23 students (13%) would have received a RV grade equivalent below grade 10. As stated in the SATA Examiner’s Manual on p19, these scores are extrapolations. Figure 2.1 also makes clear that, at least based on estimated total scores, the majority (n=109) of the 176 students with valid scores in the sample had Reading Vocabulary grade equivalents above 12th grade. It should be remembered, however, that these are grade equivalents based on vocabulary, not on comprehension of reading connected text.
Sixty-seven of the students (38%) scored below the 12th grade level. This level of performance would suggest that that these students may need additional assessment to better understand their complete reading skills and their capacities for college-level academic reading.
Not really numbers to be proud of, I would think.