Predicting and Preventing Student Failure

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Predicting and Preventing

STUDENT FAILURE What You Can Do To Ensure Students Succeed!

©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

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The First Five Years Impact Success in School and Life Every year 40 percent of children walk into kindergarten one-to-three years behind. These students struggle to catch up. Sadly, most of them never do. There is something YOU can do to help children succeed. High School

University Dropout Rate Enrollment

A child’s learning from birth to age 5 is critical; it determines their kindergarten starting point. Students who enter kindergarten behind have a monumental undertaking to catch up with their classmates.

As students progress through school, they typically only make one year of academic growth for each year in school. For those behind, it’s extremely hard to catch up because they need to achieve their normal year of growth PLUS another year of growth or more. So for students who enter kindergarten one-to-three years behind (the yellow, orange and red bands) it is very difficult to make sufficient progress to move up even ONE level without a massive amount of intervention.

NWEA RIT Scale

This chart represents the reading scores of 2.3 million students nationwide, based on real data from the Northwest Evaluation Association – so this isn’t a projection.

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All children can and will improve, but for those who enter kindergarten behind, around 75 percent will never catch up to their classmates. THIS MEANS EACH CHILD’S KINDERGARTEN STARTING POINT MATTERS!

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200

6%

81%

7% 10% 26%

44% 25% 12%

45%

<3%

55%

<2%

+2 years 180

160

+1 year

GL

Grade Level

-1

year

-2

years

-3

years

The data is grouped into colored bands: Students who enter kindergarten one-to-two years ahead are shown by the blue and teal bands Students entering at grade level are shown in green; and Students entering kindergarten one-to-three years behind are represented by the yellow, orange and red bands.

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1 2 3 4 Birth through Age 5

©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

K

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2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Kindergarten through 10th Grade

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©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

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Predicting RE ADING Failure Six Ways Reading is Critical to a Child’s School Success

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TEACHERS OF SECOND THROUGH 12TH GRADES DELIVER 85% OF THEIR CURRICULUM BY READING.

Reading level is the strongest indicator of a child’s academic outcomes. Schools teach 85 percent of the curriculum using textbooks, computer screens and white boards. Through third grade, students are learning to read. After third grade, they are also reading to learn. Students who are not reading well by the end of third grade struggle to keep up in every subject, and their future opportunities for learning, high school graduation and adult self-sufficiency are significantly limited.1

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A FIVE-YEAR LEARNING GAP PERSISTS FROM KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12TH GRADE.

In an average school district, out of every 10 children, two children enter kindergarten with language and literacy skills two-to-three years below grade level (see red and orange runners on graph below), two enter a year behind (yellow runner), and two enter at grade level (green runner). The top four-in-10 children will start one-to-two years above grade level (teal and blue runners).

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CHILDREN WHO START BEHIND OFTEN STAY BEHIND THROUGH 12TH GRADE AND BEYOND.

Starting one year behind means students will need to achieve their year of normal growth PLUS another year of growth in order to catch up. This is compounded for students who are even further behind. They will require this additional growth for two or three consecutive years – a very difficult process. If you do not create this extra growth, they will never catch up.

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YOU CAN PREDICT WHICH OF YOUR STUDENTS ARE MOST LIKELY TO FAIL.

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STUDENTS DON’T NECESSARILY STAY IN THE SAME BAND WHERE THEY START.

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READING SCORES ARE POWERFUL PREDICTORS.

By identifying those students who are one-to-three years behind in reading in kindergarten and first grade, you can predict which ones are at a higher risk of failure. If your education system does not catch them up in reading, they will fall behind in every subject area.

Some move up and some fall back. But students don’t move very far without exceptional and focused leadership by school boards, superintendents, teachers, and principals. However, 30 percent of students will stay in the same band they entered with in first grade. By the fifth grade, 80 percent will move up or down only one band.2 And very small changes in academic ranking from eighth grade through 12th grade are normal.

Your students’ reading scores are predictors of drop out and graduation rates. The reading scores also predict university enrollment outcomes because they forecast student math and science scores. The lowest performing group (see red runner on graph below) has a 55 percent chance of dropping out of high school and no chance of going to college. While the highest performing group (blue runner) has an 81 percent chance of going to college. Lynn Fielding, Extraordinary Parents (2009). Data regarding student movement within percentiles over time in reading and math is taken from an unpublished study by Lynn Fielding of 23,000 matched students using Northwest Evaluation Association data. The study is similar to a 2008 study with the results shown in Annual Growth for All Students, Catch-up Growth for Those Who Are Behind (2007).

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Lynn Fielding, Extraordinary Parents (2009) pp. 12 - 15.

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©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

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Predicting MATH Failure In these graphs, each dot represents a student with their reading score shown on the horizontal axis and math score on the vertical axis. The data shows high readers tend to have high math scores and low readers have low math scores. Student scores maintain the foot-like shape from first grade onward.

Predicting SCIENCE Failure Your students’ reading and math scores also predict their science scores. When the 2012 science scores of 65 PISA (Programmer for International Student Assessment) countries are graphed against the average of each countries’ reading and math scores, the dots form a tight linear relationship, a correlation of .985.3

Top 24 PISA Countries

)) In the first grade (graph on left), the top

students (shown in the upper right – toe – of the graph), have Northwest Evaluation Association RIT (Rasch Unit) scores in the 180-190 range. A RIT score is an estimation of a student’s instructional level.

)) Notice average students reach those

Correlation = .80

same scores in third grade (lower left graph). Low-end students who start first grade in the bottom left (heel) are still struggling to achieve 180-190 RIT scores/skills at the beginning of fifth grade (lower right graph).

United States

)) Reading growth can be accelerated and

when reading scores go up, researchers show that math scores also increase 66 to 125 percent with no additional instructional time in math.

You can quickly graph your own students’ average reading and math scores against their science scores.

Correlation = .77

Where do you predict the 40 percent of your own low readers/ low math students will score in science in middle and high school?

Correlation = .76

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Shanghai-China

2

Singapore

3

Hong Kong-China

4

Korea

5

Chinese Taipei

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Japan

7

Liechtenstein

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Macao-China

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Finland

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Canada

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Switzerland

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Estonia

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Poland

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Netherlands

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Belgium

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Ireland

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Germany

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Viet Nam

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Australia

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New Zealand

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France

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Austria

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Denmark

24

United Kingdom

www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/PISA-2012-results-US.pdf — downloaded 6/14/2014. The PISA assesses the competencies of 15-year-olds in reading math and science.

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©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

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Preventing Reading, Math and Science Failure Perception: It is mostly our poor and minority students who are behind. We can’t really expect them to learn as fast as everyone else, can we?

Perception: We have an effective reading program. It just doesn’t work all the time with all of our kids. What should we be doing differently?

FACT: The primary driver of low achievement is not parent wealth or skin color. It is starting behind. Starting behind is caused by less time-on-task. Students who spend little time on basic academic skills from birth to five typically start behind.

FACT: Kindergarten through third grade is the second easiest place to change students’ academic trajectory, and especially in kindergarten. Effective reading programs start with generous allocations of instruction time: An initial hour of whole class instruction. A second hour of differentiated instruction with students grouped by ability, and part or all of a third hour for students who are two-to-three years behind (below the 30th percentile). The curriculum should explicitly teach phonics. The assessment should measure growth, as well as achievement and be done in fall, winter and spring starting in kindergarten. Teachers and principals should also be trained.

Once poor and low socioeconomic status (SES) students come to school, their rates of learning are almost identical to other populations, just from lower starting points. What you can accurately predict, is when students start one-to-three years behind in reading, and they only make a year of reading growth each year, they are going to score behind in reading, math, and science every time you test them during the next 12 years.

The testing technology, curriculum and use of time-practices have all been developed. You may think you have a good reading program but it is only good if 90 percent of your students read at or above grade level.

Perception: We have been at this for almost a decade and we still can’t get students to standard. We don’t think it can be done. FACT: Many schools and districts with the same demographics are making these

gains. They are just doing different things in the highly leveraged areas of:

99 Parent engagement in birth to five literacy, 99 Grade level reading in grades kindergarten through third grade, especially in kindergarten and by third grade, and

99 Summer gain and loss.

Perception: It’s over after third grade if students aren’t already reading on grade level. FACT: No, it just harder. School is less fun, student self-image as non-readers solidifies, and the instructional time issue becomes a mini-death spiral. Before third grade students learn to read. After third grade they read to learn. Behind-in-reading students now need much more time to master the same content as other students. But at the same time, they may need to take up to two hours each day away from other subjects to learn grade-level reading skills. By high school, you may barely be able to keep many of these students in school, let alone in two hours of remedial reading.

Perception: Why bother with parents whose children aren’t even in school yet? FACT: It is in the homes, not the schools, that the five-year literacy gap before

kindergarten is created. The easiest place to change a child’s academic trajectory is from birth to age five. Forward looking districts create simple organizational structures to help and inform parents of the lowest 40 percent of students to do what the parents of the top 40 percent of students do – read 20 minutes every day to their children beginning at birth, talking to them and spending another 5 to 10 minutes each day on age appropriate literacy, math and social skills.

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©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

Preventing...Continued

©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

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In Conclusion... ...Continued from page 7

Perception: Summer gain/loss made the list. We have never heard of summer gain. FACT: In a recent high intervention reading

study of 5,357 students in first, second and third grades, 25 percent of students made summer reading gain, 22 percent made no change, and 53 percent lost reading growth. Students most likely to lose growth are those who made accelerated growth during the school year (most likely those in the most intensive catch-up programs). The most promising answer to the wide variations in summer loss, especially among students who are furthest behind, is finding ways to engage parents with their children to increase time-on-task for reading during the summer months.

Students with(in)

# of Students

What You Can Do To Help Students Succeed IF YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF PREVENTING READING, MATH AND SCIENCE FAILURE IN YOUR SCHOOL, DISTRICT OR STATE, WHERE DOES THE DATA SUGGEST YOU SHOULD START? READING!

Average School Gain (RIT)

Average Summer Gain (RIT)

Overall Gain (RIT)

Summer Gain

1,368

12.1

7.8

19.9

Summer Loss

2,829

21.0

-10.9

10.1

No Gain/Loss4

1,160

7.8

0.1

7.9

Perception: The data makes sense. Reading seems to be at the root of major academic improvement, but catching kids up takes money. Where can we get more money? FACT: More money would be nice but that isn’t realistic. Boards, superintendents, principals and teachers have to cut and reallocate. You have to cut less important activities and curriculum to divert existing funding and instructional time to your primary academic skill. 4

1.159 students who gain/loss was zero or ± 2 RIT points, which is the standard error of the test.

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PREVENTING READING, MATH & SCIENCE FAILURE

©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

From birth to age 5 a child learns at a speed unmatched the rest of their life, and the skills they learn at an early age develop the strong brain connections that help them thrive and succeed in school. Schools aren’t alone. An effective model of how school districts can partner with existing community entities to encourage parents to read 20 minutes each day with their child is available at: www.ReadingFoundation.org. In addition to the local Reading Foundation chapters, school districts should also consider focusing on early learning from birth to age five, and redirecting preschool and Head Start programs toward the basic academic skills children should achieve before entering kindergarten. This can be accomplished through the READY! for Kindergarten™ program. It provides training and tools for parents and caregivers, equipping them to help babies and young children develop strong brain connections that help them succeed in school. To learn more about appropriate age-level learning targets for children at each age from birth to five, and more info on starting a READY! program, visit the READY! website at: www.ReadyForKindergarten.org.

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©The Children’s Reading Foundation with permission from Lynn Fielding

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Predicting and Preventing

STUDENT FAILURE What You Can Do To Ensure Students Succeed! Rev. 2015