Study: College Readiness Starts in Elementary School

July 10, 2014

1 in 3.

This is the chance that students who are behind academically in fourth and eighth grade have of graduating high school prepared for college or careers, according to a study from testing group ACT, Inc.

The group examined data on English, mathematics, reading and science from 391,000 students from 2003 to 2010 to track their progress on college readiness assessments in 8th grade, 10th grade and 12th grade. They also looked at the data of 38,000 Arkansas students who took the state standardized test in 4th grade and a college readiness assessment in 8th grade. The students were classified as “on-track” if they met the assessment’s benchmark score, “off-track” if they were one standard deviation below and “far off-track” if they were more than one standard deviation below.

The findings for mathematics show the value that investing in elementary education to ensure students are academically prepared provides:

  • Only 3 percent of “far off-track” students reached the college readiness benchmarks in 12th grade.
  • 19 percent of “off-track” eighth graders were college- and career-ready in 12th grade.
  • One-third of the 38,000 Arkansas students were “off-track” and 22 percent were “far off-track” in 4th grade.
  • Only 10 percent of the “far off-track” and less than half (46 percent) of the “off-track” fourth-grade students reached the benchmark score in 8th grade.

It’s studies like these that demonstrate why investing in our students from the earliest ages pay off. Find out more about our curriculum and results and learn more about Reasoning Mind on FacebookPinterestGoogle+ and Twitter.




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