Investment in Early Grades Sets Students Up for Success

Third grade reading scores are a predictor for lifelong student learning and success. Strong third grade reading signals a student’s preparation for advanced learning. However, the percentage of Texas third graders meeting grade level and above on the 2018 STAAR exam fell by three percentage points from 2017 in reading, and by two points in math.

A drop in third grade test scores reflects the cumulative impacts of chronic underfunding and budget cuts in early education programs—Pre-K, accelerated education, and bilingual education. The 2018 scores signal a need for enhanced resources in the early elementary years to build a strong Pre-K through third grade foundation for Texas students.

  • 1 Texas Education Agency, STAAR Statewide Summary Reports.

    The Center for Public Policy Priorities produced this analysis in 2018, with support from the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC).