Updated research in this report underscores the urgency of ensuring that children develop proficient reading skills by the end of third grade, especially those living in poverty or in impoverished communities. A follow up to 2010's "Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters," this report supports the link between reading deficiencies and broader social consequences, including how living in poor households and high-poverty neighborhoods contribute to racial disparities in literacy skills in America and how low achievement in reading impacts an individual's future earning potential.
- Successful Strategy: Federal and state efforts to target early care and learning have drawn new attention, finding a place in Obama's 2013 State of the Union address and 27 governors' State of the State Addresses.
- Challenge: Early-grade reading proficiency continues to be unacceptably low for students from low-income families and children of color. The gap between struggling and fluent readers does not diminish over time.
- Observation: The economic argument for investing in children's early development and education is gaining evidence and traction.
- Observation: Research confirms that the following factors contribute to whether a child reads proficiently by third grade: readiness for school, chronic absence, summer learning loss, family related stressors, and quality of teaching.