Early intervention is key: the likelihood of student dropout can be predicted with up to 70% accuracy by third grade, based on reading ability and prior retention. Given the potential negative long-term consequences of low reading proficiency, the fact that only 37% of fourth graders across the country are proficient in reading underscores the magnitude of the problem on a national scale.
Research from the field also shows us that struggling students are disproportionately students of color and lower socioeconomic status. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading test scores reflect persistent achievement gaps between students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and their non-NSLP counterparts.
Future Forward is…
- Fiester, L. (2010). Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters. Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
- Fiester, L. (2013). Early Warning Confirmed: Research Update on Third-Grade Reading. Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
- Center for Labor Market Studies. (2007). Left Behind in America: The Nation’s Dropout Crisis. Retrieved from chicagowritingservice.com
- Hernandez, D. (2012). Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High-School Graduation. Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
- Jones, C. (2015). The Results of a Randomized Control Trial Evaluation of the SPARK Literacy Program. Milwaukee, WI: Socially Responsible Evaluation in Education (SREed).
- U.S. Department of Education. (1992-2017). Nations Report Card. Accessed from: https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/reading_2017/nation/achievement?grade=4