This brief examines the complex interplay of family, school, and place factors in the reading achievement levels of third grade students. Third grade reading achievement is critical to later academic and occupational success. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, the authors report that suburban children realize greater gains in reading achievement from kindergarten to Grade 3 than their rural or urban counterparts. Rural students who were struggling readers at the beginning of kindergarten have lower average reading achievement in third grade than both urban and suburban students when children of the same socioeconomic status are compared. The differences in third grade reading achievement between rural and nonrural children who were low achievers in kindergarten most likely reflect different educational opportunities and school resources available to these children. The authors suggest that improved professional development opportunities for rural teachers may help narrow the differences in the third grade reading achievement of rural, urban, and suburban students who were struggling readers in kindergarten.
Durham, N.H. : Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire
Graham, Suzanne and Teague, Christine, "Reading levels of rural and urban third graders lag behind their suburban peers" (2011). The Carsey School of Public Policy at the Scholars' Repository. Paper 136.
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