A recent published article reports that 88% of the students who did not graduate on time were below grade level in their 3rd grade reading scores. In contrast, 89% of students living in poverty graduated on time if they were proficient readers in 3rd grade. Donald Hernandez, the author of the study, reports that 3rd grade is a pivotal point for students, especially for minority students and students living in poverty. “Mr. Hernandez found that gaps in graduation rates among white, black and Hispanic students closed once poverty and reading proficiency were taken into account.” Read the full report in this link.