Download & Other Tools
- Definition: Percentage of all public school students tested in 3rd grade who scored proficient or advanced on the English Language Arts California Standards Test, by socioeconomic status (e.g., 33% of economically disadvantaged 3rd graders in California scored proficient or advanced in 2013).
- Data Source: California Dept. of Education, Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Results. Accessed at http://star.cde.ca.gov/ (Nov. 2013).
- Footnote: Years presented are the final year of a school year (e.g., 2012-2013 is shown as 2013). Students are considered "economically disadvantaged" if they are eligible for the free/reduced price lunch program or if neither parent graduated from high school. LNE (Low Number Event) refers to data that have been suppressed because there were fewer than 20 estimated students with proficient or advanced scores.
- Measures of Reading Proficiency on Kidsdata.org
On kidsdata.org, reading proficiency is measured by the percentage of 3rd graders in public schools who score proficient or higher on the English Language Arts California Standards Test (CST). These data are available by English fluency, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.In order to score proficient on the CST, a student must demonstrate a competent and adequate understanding of the knowledge and skills measured by this assessment, at this grade, in this content area; scoring advanced requires a comprehensive and complex understanding.
- Reading Proficiency
- Bullying and Harassment at School
- Bullying/Harassment (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Bullying/Harassment for Bias-Related Reason (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Disability as Reason for Bullying/Harassment (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Gender as Reason for Bullying/Harassment (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Race or National Origin as Reason for Bullying/Harassment (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Religion as Reason for Bullying/Harassment (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Sexual Orientation as Reason for Bullying/Harassment (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Other Non-Specified Reason for Bullying/Harassment (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Cyberbullying (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Student Bullying/Harassment Is a Problem at School (Staff Reported)
- College Eligibility
- Demographics of Children with Special Needs
- Children with Major Disabilities, by City, School District and County (Regions of 65,000 Residents or More)
- Special Education Enrollment
- Disconnected Youth
- English Learners
- High School Graduation
- Math Proficiency
- School Connectedness
- Caring Adults at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- High Expectations from Teachers and Others (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Meaningful Participation at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Total School Assets (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- School Connectedness (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Adults at School Believe in Student Success (Staff Reported)
- Caring Adults at School (Staff Reported)
- School Gives Students Opportunities to Make a Difference (Staff Reported)
- School Motivates Students to Learn (Staff Reported)
- Students Who Are Motivated to Learn (Staff Reported)
- Youth Development or Resilience Is Fostered at School (Staff Reported)
- Pupil Support Service Personnel
- School Safety
- Perceptions of School Safety (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Fear of Being Beaten Up at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Physical Fighting at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Carrying a Gun at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Carrying a Knife or Other Weapon at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Perceptions of School Safety for Students (Staff Reported)
- Perceptions of School Safety for Staff (Staff Reported)
- Student Physical Fighting Is a Problem at School (Staff Reported)
- Student Weapons Possession Is a Problem at School (Staff Reported)
- Truancy, Suspensions & Expulsions
- Why This Topic Is Important
Third grade reading scores are highly correlated with later academic success; some research indicates that reading proficiency at the end of third grade is predictive of whether or not a student will graduate from high school (1, 2). Generally, third grade marks the transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn" (1). Students with limited reading abilities have a harder time keeping up across multiple subjects (including math, science, and other languages), and those who fall behind in the early grades often stay behind (1). Thus, early intervention is critical for children who are struggling with reading.
State and national data consistently show an achievement gap in reading proficiency between some racial/ethnic groups (see California data), though researchers agree the gap largely is due to socioeconomic factors, such as parental education and family income (3). Some progress has been made in closing the gap, but disparities remain.
For more information on reading proficiency see kidsdata.org’s Research & Links section.
Sources for this narrative:
1. Musen, L. (2010). Early reading proficiency. New York, NY: Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. Retrieved from: http://www.annenberginstitute.org/pdf/LeadingIndicator_Reading.pdf
2. Child Trends. (2012). Reading proficiency. Retrieved from: http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=reading-proficiency
3. Lara-Cinisomo, S., et al. (2004). A matter of class: Educational achievement reflects family background more than ethnicity or immigration. Rand Review, 28(3). Retrieved from: http://www.rand.org/publications/randreview/issues/fall2004/class.html
- How Children Are Faring
In 2013, 45% of California 3rd graders were proficient or advanced in English Language Arts (reading), up from 33% in 2003. Reading proficiency in 3rd grade varies widely at the county level, ranging from 24% to 66% in 2013. Data also show that reading proficiency varies by English fluency, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. For example, 2013 California data show that 33% of economically disadvantaged 3rd graders were proficient in reading, compared to 67% among higher income students. Although disparities remain, the percentage of reading-proficient students increased between 2003 and 2013 for all subgroups with available data (i.e., economically disadvantaged students, English Learners, and students in all racial/ethnic groups).
- Policy Implications
As California implements “Common Core” state standards in English-language arts, policymakers face challenges in authorizing new assessments, curricula, and teacher evaluation systems that align with those standards (1, 2). Teacher quality has been shown to have a significant impact on student achievement in general, and specifically on reading proficiency; acquiring reading proficiency by third grade is a key indicator of later school achievement (1, 3).
According to research and subject experts, policy options that could improve reading proficiency include:
For more policy ideas on reading proficiency in California, see the Research & Links section on kidsdata.org or visit the Center on the Future of Teaching and Learning, the Institute of Education Sciences What Works Clearinghouse, Education Trust-West, Source, and Early Edge California. Also see Policy Implications on kidsdata.org under Math Proficiency, High School Dropouts and Family Income & Poverty.
- Improving teacher quality at every grade level (1, 3)
- Investing in quality preschool or kindergarten readiness programs to lay the foundation for later achievement (4)
- Supporting literacy initiatives that include curriculum, instruction, student assessments, and teacher professional development reflecting the most current understandings in the field (5)
- Articulating state, district, and school-level middle school policies that emphasize improving academic outcomes for all students, including tying student outcomes to teacher evaluations; aligning middle school curricula, instructional practices and assessments with state standards; and prioritizing student academic performance when selecting superintendents and principals (6)
- Analyzing district and school-level data on student achievement and progress by racial/ethnic group, especially for children of color and low-income students so that data can inform policy (7)
- Encouraging and investing in comprehensive, evidence-based policies to promote family involvement in school, which is related to higher levels of achievement motivation, task-persistence, and receptive vocabulary (8)
Sources for this narrative:
1. The Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning at WestEd. (2012). CenterView: Willing but not yet ready: A glimpse of California teachers’ preparedness for the Common Core State Standards. Retrieved from: http://www.cftl.org/centerviews/february12.html
2. California Department of Education. (2013). Common core state standards. Retrieved from: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cc/
3. Education Trust-West. (2013). The Education Trust-West 2013 Policy Agenda. Retrieved from: http://www.edtrust.org/west/publication/the-education-trust-west-2013-policy-agenda
4. Evans, L. (2013). Kindergarten readiness program are beneficial to fulfilling benchmarks and standards. Northern Michigan University. Retrieved from: http://www.nmu.edu/education/sites/DrupalEducation/files/UserFiles/Evans_Lynn_Marie_MP.pdf
5. Alliance for Excellent Education. (2012). Policy brief: Confronting the crisis: Federal investments in state birth-through-grade-twelve literacy education. Retrieved from: http://all4ed.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ConfrontingTheCrisis.pdf
6. EdSource. (2010). Gaining ground in the middle grades: Why some schools do better. Retrieved from: http://www.edsource.org/middle-grades-study.html
7. Stuart, L., & Hahnel, C. (2011). A report card on district achievement: How low-income, African-American, and Latino students fare in California school districts. Education Trust-West. Retrieved from: http://www.edtrust.org/west/publication/a-report-card-on-district-achievement-how-low-income-african-american-and-latino-st
8. El Nokali, N., et al. (2010). Parent involvement and children’s academic and social development in elementary school. Child Development, 81(3), 988-1005. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2973328/
- Websites with Related Information
- Alliance for Excellent Education
- Attendance Works
- Early Edge California
- Education Commission of the States
- PolicyforResults.org, Center for the Study of Social Policy
- Public Policy Institute of California: K-12 Education
- Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis
- The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, WestEd
- The Education Trust-West
- What Works Clearinghouse, Institute of Education Sciences
- Key Reports
- Achievement Gap Points to Ineffectiveness of Decades of Reforms, 2015, EdSource, Freedberg, L.
- Attendance in the Early Grades: Why It Matters for Reading, 2014, Attendance Works & Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
- Health and Academic Achievement, 2014, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Health Barriers to Learning and the Education Opportunity Gap, 2015, Education Commission of the States, Basch, C., et al.
- Implementing the Common Core State Standards in California, 2014, Public Policy Institute of California, Warren, P. & Murphy, P.
- Improving the Opportunities and Outcomes of California's Students Learning English: Findings from School District-University Collaborative Partnerships, 2015, Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis, Umansky, I., et al.
- Student Achievement in California: 2015 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASP) Results, 2015, Education Trust-West
- The Educational, Psychological, and Social Impact of Discrimination on the Immigrant Child, 2015, Migration Policy Institute, Spears Brown, C.
- The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015: What It Means for Equity and Accountability in California, 2015, Education Trust-West
- The Local Control Funding Formula: An Essential EdSource Guide, 2015, EdSource
- The Next Chapter: Supporting Literacy Within ESEA, 2015, Alliance for Excellent Education, Haynes, M.
- The Power of Parents: Research Underscores the Impact of Parent Involvement in Schools, 2014, EdSource and New America Media
- The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model, 2015, Journal of School Health, 85(11), Hunt, H. (Ed.)
- Time for Equity: Expanding Access to Learning, 2015, Voices of Urban Education, Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University
- County/Regional Reports
- 2014 Solano Children's Report Card, Children's Network of Solano County
- 2014 Youth Wellbeing Report Card, Santa Monica Cradle to Career
- 2015 Kern County Report Card, Kern County Network for Children
- Children's Report Card, Sacramento County Children's Coalition
- Collaborating for Equity: A Scan of the Los Angeles Educational Ecosystem, 2015, Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, Potochnik, T. & Romans, A.
- Fresno Community Scorecard, Fresno Business Council and Valley PBS
- Orange County Community Indicators Report, 2015, Orange County Community Indicators Project
- San Diego County Report Card on Children and Families, 2013, The Children's Initiative
- Santa Clara County Children's Agenda: 2015 Data Book, Planned Parenthood and Kids in Common
- The 21st Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County, 2015, Orange County Children's Partnership
- The Wellbeing Project, City of Santa Monica
- More Data Sources For Reading Proficiency
- California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Results, California Department of Education
- California District Report Cards, Education Trust-West
- Child Trends Databank: Reading Proficiency
- DataQuest, California Dept. of Education
- Diversitydatakids.org, Brandeis University, Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy
- ED Data Express: Data About Elementary and Secondary Schools in the U.S., U.S. Department of Education
- Education Data Partnership (Ed-Data): Fiscal, Demographic, and Performance Data on California’s K-12 Schools
- Local Control Funding Formula Reports, California Department of Education
- National Center for Education Statistics: Data Tools, U.S. Dept. of Education, Institute of Education Sciences