Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Study: Third Grade Reading Predicts Later High School Graduation: Part 1

A wonderful Reading Coach Trainer from North Alabama sent me this article, and I felt like it was important enough to share with you.  It's about a study on how a third grade students' reading ability will predict whether or not they will graduate from high school.  Parents please pay attention.

By Sarah D. Sparks on April 8, 2011 9:36 AM

The disquieting side effect of our increasingly detailed longitudinal studies of students is we keep finding warning signs of a future graduation derailment earlier and earlier in a child's school years.

Robert Balfanz of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found those warning signs as early as 6th grade— chronic absences, poor behavior, failing math or language arts, which when put together lead to a 90 percent risk that a student won't graduate on time.

A study to be released this morning at the American Educational Research Association convention here in New Orleans presents an even earlier warning sign: A student who can't read on grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time. Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peer.

"Third grade is a kind of pivot point," said Donald J. Hernandez, the study's author and a sociology professor at Hunter College, at the City University of New York. "We teach reading for the first three grades and then after that children are not so much learning to read but using their reading skills to learn other topics. In that sense if you haven't succeeded by 3rd grade it's more difficult to [remediate] than it would have been if you started before then."

Tomorrow will be the rest of the article on The Grade Reading Predicts Later High School Graduation.


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