The Most Important Year of a Child’s Academic Growth: Standard 3

Source: Time, Sep 2012

It’s the year that students move from *learning to read* — decoding words using their knowledge of the alphabet — to *reading to learn*.

Children who haven’t made the leap to fast, fluent reading begin at this moment to fall behind, and for most of them the gap will continue to grow. So third grade constitutes a critical transition — a “pivot point,” in the words of Donald J. Hernandez, a professor of sociology at CUNY–Hunter College. A study Hernandez conducted, released last year by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, found that third-graders who lack proficiency in reading are four times more likely to become high school dropouts.

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