Early Grades Reading

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By third grade, reading proficiency shifts from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.”

If children cannot read proficiently in third grade, they fall behind. And, the academic gap will grow each year thereafter.


As you can see from the countywide proficiency graph, the changes in how our State sets and  assesses proficiency targets has continued to change, making it difficult for a view through that lens to provide a true representation of whether or not our children are meeting the practical skill development that leads to the true goal of this stage of learning:  reading proficiency that supports learning in all other content areas.  

To accurately assess where our students stand, so we know best how to help them improve, continuity of assessment strategies has been an obstacle.  Thanks to our data team, the "Z-Score" process helps us to analyze data across the various assessment tool and helps us with additional viewpoints for our research.  

"Z Scores" Provide  Insight

This z-score lens allows us to look at how our students, and different student population groups, perform in relation to achievement across the state. Here the data highlights our continued need to identify strategies to support improved skill development and retention for children in poverty.  



Countywide, our children have scored below the state mean.  However, children in poverty scored significantly below the state mean while children not in poverty have, for the last seven years, scored above the state mean.  SAM is working diligently with our partners to improve the development and retention of skills for children in poverty.  Current efforts include the Summer Climb reading camps and the launch of an innovative Four Schools Project, working to embed Continuous Improvement strategies into the culture of four of our county's highest poverty schools. Both efforts were launched in 2017 and continue to develop, focused on local research + local data -> local action.  Learning from these interventions will inform action countywide.