According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, “85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, and over 70% of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth-grade level.” The University of Chicago studied 26,000 Chicago students and found third-grade reading levels also offer an important indicator of students’ 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,” and 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.
In the 2016-17 school year, 53.8% of a Kentucky public school system’s third-grade students scored novice or apprentice on their KPREP reading tests. Even more concerning is that of the African-American third-grade students in this school system, 70.4% scored novice or apprentice.
EdjAnalytics wants to help schools address this issue and improve the educational outcomes for their students. We are building a custom predictive model to examine historical data from the school system to determine the drivers that impact whether a child will be reading at grade level in third grade. Students that are predicted to be off-track for this goal can receive interventions earlier and avoid falling behind in reading at an early age.