Student achievement in school is assessed at large for the first time in 4th grade, allowing
us to measure proficiency early in the education pipeline. This measurement is important
as students’ proficiency in 4th grade is an indicator of students’ ability to graduate high
school and graduate on time. Students who are not reading proficiently by 3rd grade
(as indicated by 4th grade scores) are four times more likely to drop out than proficient
Early intervention is essential for ensuring students’ future success.
The achievement gap refers to the difference in academic performance or educational
attainment between groups of students, examined here by student socioeconomic
status, gender, and race/ethnicity. Closing achievement gaps early is important in
terms of preventing them from growing larger over time. This should improve overall
academic proficiency throughout the educational pipeline.