K-3 Policymakers' Guide to Action: Making the Early Years Count

from the Education Commission of the States
by Bruce Atchison, Louisa Diffey, & Emily Workman

The Education Commission of the States convened a group of experts on K-3 education to reflect on research and practice and then define state policy levers with the greatest potential to impact student outcomes. This new report summarizes the top policy components the experts prioritized as essential to building a high-quality state K-3 system. FPG’s Sam Roman-Oertwig served as one of the content experts.

From the introduction: "Of the 2.5 million students who dropped out of high school in 2015, 1.6 million were firmly set on that trajectory when they were just 8 years old. What did those 8-year-old students have in common? They received the lowest reading scores on the third-grade literacy exam. A student’s ability to meet grade-level expectations in third grade plays a significant role in the likelihood of them graduating high school. A third-grade student who reads proficiently is four times more likely to graduate from high school than a third grader reading below grade level. The preschool through third-grade years are foundational in a child’s journey towards lifelong learning. Developmentally, these early elementary years are when children best acquire the academic and non-academic skills on which long-lasting educational success depends..."

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