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ERIC Number: ED517805
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1097-3125
Reading on Grade Level in Third Grade: How Is It Related to High School Performance and College Enrollment? A Longitudinal Analysis of Third-Grade Students in Chicago in 1996-97 and Their Educational Outcomes. A Report to the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Lesnick, Joy; Goerge, Robert M.; Smithgall, Cheryl; Gwynne, Julia
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Learning to read is one of the most important skills in modern society. Not only does reading serve as the major foundational skill for school-based learning, but reading ability is strongly related to opportunities for academic and vocational success. For children, a critical transition takes place during elementary school: until the end of third grade, most students are "learning to read". Beginning in fourth grade, however, students begin "reading to learn". Students who are not reading at grade level by third grade begin having difficulty comprehending the written material that is a central part of the educational process in the grades that follow. Meeting increased educational demands becomes more difficult for students who struggle to read. The study described here uses longitudinal administrative data to examine the relationship between third-grade reading level and four educational outcomes: eighth-grade reading performance, ninth-grade course performance, high school graduation, and college attendance. Using third-grade national percentile rankings on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) to place a focus cohort of 26,000 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students into "below" (0-24th national percentile), "at" (25th-74th national percentile) and "above" grade level (75th-100th national percentile) groupings, the authors find correlational evidence that students who were at and above grade level in third grade graduate and attend college at higher rates than their peers who were below grade level in third grade. The results of this study do not examine whether low reading performance causes low future educational performance, or whether improving a child's reading trajectory has an effect on future educational outcomes. Future research to investigate this question is necessary. Statistical Models and Results are appended. (Contains 7 tables, 12 figures and 7 footnotes.)
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 773-753-5900; Fax: 773-753-5940; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 3; Grade 8; Grade 9; High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Authoring Institution: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Iowa Tests of Basic Skills