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Achievement Indicator - Reading on Grade Level, Grade 3


This achievement indicator, Reading on Grade Level in Grade 3, examines which of our third graders are reading on “grade level" by the end of their third-grade year.  To be considered “on grade level,” a student must meet/exceed the benchmark score on DIBELS Eighth Edition assessment AND achieve a score of 196 or higher on the MAP reading assessment.  These two assessments are widely recognized in the field as reliable indicators of reading progress. Both are used to be certain we include both decoding and comprehension skills, which are both essential components for a student to read with fluency, comprehension, confidence, and enjoyment.

It is widely accepted in the field of education that students need to read a grade level text with accuracy, fluency, and comprehension by Grade 3 to access the wide array of other learning experiences ahead of them in their academic careers.  If a student is not yet reading at the expected level, the likelihood of encountering difficulty in other subject areas increases exponentially, and only serves to create learning gaps elsewhere.  For this reason, it can be argued that this indicator is the cornerstone of all other learning, thereby pushing towards the most important, if not THE most important, of all the achievement indicators on this dashboard.

As historical data show, disparities between students of different races existed in this indicator before the global pandemic began in 2020 and have continued since then. The district has various theories as to why the gaps exist, ranging from differences in kindergarten readiness to shortcomings in literacy curricula and instructional strategies, as well as a lack of diversity in the reading materials available to students. All of these, and more, are considered in developing the action plan for addressing the racial disparities in this indicator.

Current Update: November 2023

Action Plan

  • A systematic, data-driven approach is employed at the elementary level to identify students’ strengths and areas of need.  In addition to the district diagnostic reading assessment data gathered through DIBELS and MAP, other measures of student progress include curriculum-based assessments, spelling inventories, and formative data, such as running records and anecdotal classroom notes. These data are essential for determining students’ strengths and needs.
  • Building-level Data Analysis Response Teams (DART) meet three times per year to identify students in need of reading interventions. These meetings include classroom teachers, reading specialists, principal, and counselor and focus on identifying appropriate reading instruction and interventions for each student. Interventions target specific areas of literacy development, such as teaching students academic language skills, vocabulary knowledge, phonics, phonological awareness, comprehension, and/or fluency.
  • Professional development continues to be an area of focus to ensure teachers are implementing best practices in reading instruction, including small group instruction.


Achievement Indicator - Reading on Grade Level, Grade 3

In this table and chart, the data are represented as percentages of students reading on grade level by racial sub-group per school year. Data from the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years are not included in this table because of the COVID-19 global pandemic that started in March 2020. To interpret these data, an example is: in the 2015-2016 school year, 66.67% of Hispanic students in third grade were reading on grade level. 


  2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2021-22 2022-23
Asian  98.28% 96.61% 93.10% 86.21% 84.85% 81.97%
Black 75.00% 76.19% 57.58% 45.71% 51.85% 26.19%
Hispanic 66.67% 77.78% 57.59% 39.29% 58.33% 33.33%
Multi-Racial 100.00% 95.65% 82.35% 52.00% 84.62% 74.42%
White 93.14% 96.61% 83.19% 80.25% 77.14% 76.60%
All Students 91.56% 93.96% 80.60% 72.98% 76.03% 69.89%