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Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters

The new national 2010 KIDS COUNT Report focuses on how lack of reading proficiency by end of third grade jeopardizes America's economic and national security. Nationally, 68% of students at the end of Grade 3 in public schools scored below proficiency on the National Assessment of Educational Program (NAEP) reading test.

Massachusetts ranks best among all of U.S. states in the percentage of its students who by the end of 3rd Grade are proficient in reading on NAEP. However, Massachusetts' score belies two important facts: First, no state in the country achieved the standard set by NAEP, including Massachusetts. Second, while 44% of Massachusetts students met the national proficiency standard, 53% of the state's students did not. Therefore, despite the state's high national ranking, these scores are disappointing for all who see school success and high school graduation as beacons in the battle against intergenerational poverty.

KIDS COUNT Report- "Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters"
"Early Warning..." Fact Sheet
"Early Warning..." Press Release