Poor reader in third grade, dropout by 12th
People have long talked about third grade being a critical point for reading mastery - it's why Florida adopted a third-grade retention policy in 2003 - but a new study released this morning makes a link between third-grade reading and graduation rates.
Four percent of third graders who are proficient readers fail to graduate on time, compared to 9 percent who are basic readers and 23 percent who are below basic, says the study, which was commissioned by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and relies on a longitudinal study of 3,975 students.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 36 percent of Florida fourth graders are proficient in reading, which puts them at No. 13 nationally. Since 2003, only two states have made bigger gains in fourth-grade reading scores.