The blog Eye on Early Education focuses on the goals of ensuring that children in Massachusetts have access to high-quality early education and that they become proficient readers by the end of the third grade. Proficiency in 3rd grade reading has been established as a huge indicator of the likelihood of graduating from high school. In September 2010, the blog reported that proficiency rates on the 3rd grade reading MCAS exam were up from 2009 in 10 urban districts in the state; increases varied from two percentage points to fifteen percentage points. Unfortunately, the increases seen in 2010 did not continue in 2011 in all of the urban districts.
Only three urban districts continued to see an increase in 3rd grade reading proficiency rates in 2011 (highlighted in teal). Increases for the three districts that did improve in 2011 were minimal ranging from only one to three percentage points.
In Lynn, some elementary schools saw huge gains in 3rd grade reading proficiency rates while others decreased. Highlighted in teal here are the Lynn elementary schools that saw increases in the percentage of students who scored proficient or higher on the 3rd grade reading exam from 2010 to 2011. Increases ranged from four to eighteen percentage points. Three schools (Ford, Aborn, and Sisson) either met or exceeded the state average for this particular exam while Connery, a Level 4 school, increased from a 9% proficiency rate in 2009 to a 37% proficiency rate in 2011. Though Sisson did decline in its 3rd grade proficiency rate, the school still performed better than the state average.
While Lynn as a whole is increasing in terms of 3rd grade proficiency rates, there is always room for improvement. This particularly true as there seems to be an achievement gap at this level between certain subgroups in the city such as male/female (41% proficient vs. 52%) and low income/non-low income (43% versus 62%) among others. As proficiency in reading in the 3rd grade has important implications for future academic success, improving and increasing students' literacy skills is essential to raising educational achievement in Lynn and other urban districts.
**Data Taken from: www.doe.mass.edu