I recently had the occasion to look at Washington’s achievement data on two key performance indicators: 4th grade reading, and 8th grade math.
I chose these data points because they represent key transition points in each student’s educational career. Research tells us students who are not reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade have difficulty catching up thereafter. Indeed, 3rd grade reading proficiency is a strong statistical predictor of high school graduation. Similarly, middle school math represents a key transition point– students not achieving math proficiency in middle school are less likely to be college and or career-ready by the end of high school, and qualify for the high-skill, living wage jobs (many of them STEM-related) Washington is having difficulty filling. Continue reading »