Predicting Third Grade Reading Outcomes | EdjAnalytics

Predicting Third Grade Reading Outcomes

Background

Third grade reading proficiency has long been viewed as a crucial milestone in a child’s education due to the shift from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” in fourth grade.  A long-term study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that students who were not proficient in reading by the end of third grade were four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers. Eighty-eight percent of students who failed to earn a high school diploma were not reading on grade level in third grade. In addition, The University of Chicago studied 26,000 Chicago students and found third grade reading levels also offer an important indicator of students’ post-secondary academic trajectories.  Students who read above grade level in the third grade enrolled in college at higher rates than their peers who read at or below grade level. Addressing the issue, however, is complicated because the early years are referred to as “the black hole of data,” because administrators often don’t find out a child isn’t on grade level until the student takes their first-ever standardized tests – at the end of third grade.