The ability to read by the end of 3rd grade is a critical student milestone. According to the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, an alarming 74% of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade falter in later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma. These students who are not reading proficiently are disproportionately low-income children and children of color.
Since 2010, 3rd grade reading scores have gone up and down, but overall have not trended up. Only one subgroup, non-low-income students, is meeting the 2014 target. At the regional level, there have not been any significant gains for low-income children.