Fourth Graders Proficient in Reading
We need all children to receive a strong education so they can succeed in life. Reading proficiency is foundational to academic success and future economic stability. While children learn the fundamentals of reading through third grade, by fourth grade reading becomes a tool they use to master other subjects.[i]
Students with reading difficulties are much less likely to be academically engaged.[ii] A child who struggles to read proficiently as a fourth grader is less likely to graduate, or to do so on time, and more likely to struggle economically as an adult.[iii],[iv]
Since each state uses their own test to assess academic proficiency, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) enables comparisons between states and the nation as a whole. At last analysis (in 2013), the proficiency standard Kentucky used in its state assessment of fourth grade reading was 11 points below the NAEP proficiency standard – meaning the national assessment is more rigorous than Kentucky’s.[v]
For more than twenty years, Kentucky has made gradual, steady progress on the percent of fourth graders who are proficient in reading.[vi] Using NAEP data, Kentucky’s fourth grade reading proficiency rate is five percentage points higher than the national rate.[vii]
[i] Fiester, L. (2010). Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters. Annie E. Casey Foundation. Available at http://www.aecf.org/resources/early-warning-why-reading-by-the-end-of-third-grade-matters/. Accessed November 2017.
[ii] Child Trends Databank (2015). Reading Proficiency. Available at https://www.childtrends.org/indicators/reading-proficiency. Accessed November 2017.
[iii] Fiester, L. (2010). Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters. Annie E. Casey Foundation. Available at http://www.aecf.org/resources/early-warning-why-reading-by-the-end-of-third-grade-matters/. Accessed November 2017.
[iv] Fiester, L. (2013). Early Warning Confirmed: A Research Update on Third-Grade Reading. Annie E. Casey Foundation. Available at http://www.aecf.org/resources/early-warning-confirmed/. Accessed November 2017.
[v] Bandeira de Mello, V., Bohrnstedt, G., Blankenship, C., and Sherman, D. (2015). Mapping State Proficiency Standards onto NAEP Scales: Results From the 2013 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Assessments. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Available at https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/subject/publications/studies/pdf/2015046.pdf. Accessed November 2017.
[vi] Kentucky Youth Advocates (2015). Good Public Policies = A Brighter Future for Kentucky Kids: A 25 Year Retrospective. Available at http://kyyouth.org/kentucky-kids-count/25years/. Accessed November 2017.
[vii] Annie E. Casey Foundation (2015). KIDS COUNT Data Center. Available at http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/line/5116-fourth-grade-reading-achievement-levels?loc=19&loct=2#2/19/true/573,36,867,38,18,16,14,13/asc/1188/11560. Accessed November 2017.