Research from Annie E. Casey Foundation
Children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers.
Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation (2012), by Donald J. Hernandez, The Annie E Casey Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland
Millions of American children get to fourth grade without learning to read proficiently, and that puts them on the high school dropout track. The ability to read is critical to a child’s success in school, life-long earning potential and their ability to contribute to the nation’s economy and its security. Children can succeed at reading proficiency if policymakers focus on school readiness, school attendance, summer learning, family support and high-quality teaching.
Annie E Casey Foundation Report, Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters
Sociologist Donald Hernandez found that children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers. Black and Hispanic children who are not reading proficiently in third grade are twice as likely as similar white children not to graduate from high school (about 25 vs. 13 percent). When we add poverty to the analysis, the findings are even more sobering. Hernandez found that the graduation failure rate for children who cannot read proficiently and are poor for at least one year is 26 percent, or more than six times the rate for all proficient readers.
Early Warning Confirmed: A Research Update on Third-Grade Reading (with citations and more data), is available online at www.aecf.org. January 1, 2010