BALTIMORE’S PROMISE HAS A GOAL THAT
Children and Youth Achieve at Grade Level or Above in School
Research shows academic success is linked to increased high school graduation rates, college graduation, and adult outcomes such as income and employment. Reading achievement predicts the likelihood of graduating from high school and attending college, as well as career success. Students who cannot read at grade level by 3rd grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school on time than children who can. Likewise, mathematics competence is related to higher rates of high school graduation, higher levels of employability, and higher earnings in adulthood.
Middle school performance is a critical mile marker toward completion of high school, with one study finding 8th grade achievement to have a greater impact on college and career readiness than any achievement gains made during high school.
Stakeholders expressed support for a quality, citywide focus on grade level achievement, especially for students beyond 3rd grade. With strategies led by Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS), as well as other initiatives such as the Baltimore School Climate Network and the Grade Level Reading Campaign, there is momentum in this area to build upon. Baltimore’s Promise has identified standardized test scores as a key indicator of grade level achievement.