Talent Development

3rd-Grade Reading Proficiency

Measure Baseline (2015) Current Target (2025) Trend Michigan Chart
3rd-Grade Reading Proficiency Disaggregated 36% 32% 62%

Rationale: Third-grade reading proficiency predicts future educational success. Measuring proficiency early allows for timely interventions to improve a child’s reading skills. 60% is the average third-grade reading proficiency of the top 25 best cities to raise a family. Source: PolicyLink analysis of demographic data from the US Census and the 25 best cities list from SmartAsset.com.

44%
White 43% 40% 52%
Black 15% 8% 19%
Latino 25% 25% 33%
Asian 46% 46% 64%
Two or More Races 31% 19% 42%
About this measure

Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, districts will uphold the Michigan Third Grade Reading law in determining whether third graders advance to the next grade. The law states that for students to progress to grade 4, they must demonstrate one of the following:

  • A reading score less than one grade level behind on the grade 3 state English Language Arts assessment.
  • A grade 3 reading level through an alternative standardized reading assessment.
  • A grade 3 reading level through a pupil portfolio, as evidenced by demonstrating competency in all grade 3 English Language Arts standards.

Source: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/MI_Action_Plan_Lit_Draft2_629757_7.pdf

Children who cannot read by the third grade are four times less likely to graduate than students who can read. This is due to the focus of education shifting after third grade from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”. Therefore, a child who is not proficient in reading, is likely to struggle in that subject moving forward.

Resources for this measure

Here are a variety of resources to help community members learn more about our area schools and programs:

About the data

Definition: The percentage of third-grade public school students who reached the proficient level in reading as measured by the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) English Language Arts.
Numerator: Third-grade public school students who reached the proficient level in reading as measured by the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) English Language Arts.
Denominator: All third-grade public school students who took the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) English Language Arts.
Frequency: Annual.
Baseline: 20% (2015)
Target: 60%
Rationale: Third-grade reading proficiency predicts future educational success. Measuring proficiency early allows for timely interventions to improve a child’s reading skills. 60% is the average third-grade reading proficiency of the top 25 best cities to raise a family.
Source: Michigan’s Center for Educational Performance and Information.