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Trends and Gaps in Reading Achievement across Kindergarten and Grade 1 in Two Illinois School Districts

by Ashley Lewis Presser, Heather Lavigne, Jill Bowdon, Camille Lemieux, Xinxin Zhang and Jingyan Xia
Trends and Gaps in Reading Achievement across Kindergarten and Grade 1 in Two Illinois School Districts

To assess education progress in the early grades and identify achievement gaps, this study examined reading achievement data for kindergarten and grade 1 students in two districts in Illinois: District U-46 (Elgin Area Schools) and District 186 (Springfield Public Schools). Drawing on a different reading assessment in each district, the study team documented reading achievement in these two early grades for two kindergarten cohorts (2016/17 for District U-46 and 2017/18 for District 186) and examined disparities in achievement for several student demographic groups. In particular, the study identified gaps in reading achievement at different time points in kindergarten and grade 1 by students' race/ethnicity, eligibility for the national school lunch program (an indicator of poverty), English learner status, participation in special education, and gender. The findings can enhance alliance members' understanding of reading achievement trends and gaps and can inform district administrators', policymakers', and educators' decisions about which students could benefit from additional reading supports. In addition, the findings can motivate conversations about the root causes of inequities in reading achievement and how to resolve them. [For the appendixes, see ED610446; for the study brief, see ED610448; for the study snapshot, see ED610449.]


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