Third-Grade Reading Proficiency
The percentage of third graders enrolled in public or charter schools in the City of St. Louis who are meeting state standards for English
White students are more than twice as likely as black students to demonstrate reading proficiency in the third grade.
A score of 100 represents racial equity, meaning there are no racial disparities in outcomes between black and white populations. The lower the Equity Score, the greater the disparity.
For Third-Grade Reading Proficiency, a score of 100 — a score reflecting racial equity — would mean black and white third-grade students are equally likely to meet state standards in English. It is important to note that for this indicator, equity is not our only goal: we also want to improve outcomes for all.
What does this indicator measure?
Third-Grade Reading Proficiency measures the percentage of third graders enrolled in public or charter schools in the City of St. Louis who are meeting state standards for English, meaning they scored proficient or advanced on the English portion of the Missouri Assessment Program.
In 2016, there were 962 third graders who scored proficient or advanced in English, or 33% of all third graders.
Third-grade reading proficiency analysis
Third graders scoring proficient or advanced on English in Missouri Assessment Program in St. Louis City.
|All||White||Black||Disparity Ratio||Equity Score|
|Third graders scoring proficient or advanced||962||263||580||-||-|
|Third grader population||2,942||408||2,255||-||-|
|Percent of third graders scoring proficient or advanced||32.7%||64.5%||25.7%||2.506 to 1||37|
Data Source: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2016.
What does this analysis mean?
White third graders are 2.5 times more likely than black third graders to demonstrate reading proficiency. White third graders are the most likely to demonstrate reading proficiency (64.5%), followed by Asian third graders (54.5%). Black third graders are the least likely to demonstrate reading proficiency (25.7%), followed by Hispanic third graders (32.1%).
If proficiency rates were equitable, 873 more black third graders would have met state standards in English.
Data Note: School districts evaluated in 2016 include Better Learning Community Academy, Carondelet Leadership Academy, City Garden Montessori, Confluence Academies, Eagle College Prep Endeavor, Gateway Science Academy, Jamaa Learning Academy, Lafayette Preparatory Academy, North Side Community School, Premier Charter School, St. Louis Language Immersion Schools, and St. Louis City Public Schools.
Why does Third-Grade Reading Proficiency matter?
Assessments are used to measure student learning. In third grade, students are tested on their ability to read and write. Reading comprehension is the cornerstone of students’ ability to access information, while writing skills are the basis of summarizing information. These core communications skills affect future learning and are used throughout life.
Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission report are linked with this indicator?
While there are no direct calls to action from the Ferguson Commission related to raising test scores, the Commission calls for:
Questions for further investigation
- Why is there a racial disparity in Third-Grade Reading Proficiency?
- What can St. Louis do to reduce racial disparities in Third-Grade Reading Proficiency?
- What initiatives are currently underway to reduce racial disparities in Third-Grade Reading Proficiency?
How can I learn more?
Starting in 2015, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has developed Educator Equity Plans, which report on the racial disparities in math and English proficiency.