Links to 3rd Grade

Santa Clara County Early Learning Master Plan: Building Early Success with "Ready Schools"

November 2012
‚ÄčThis document is designed to support schools and districtsw in the collaborative efforts with early learning and afterschool programs. It includes information on why high-quality early learning is critical for children from birth through third grade, as well as for their long-term student achievement.  The document will aslo serve as a tool to facilitate conversations with partners, and to help identify an action plan for goals in ongoing work and implementation.  It provides a self-assessment to guide discussions with district leadership, teachers, the school site council, and parents.

Early Math -

Heising-Simons Foundation has released new reports highlighting the importance of cultivating mathematical thinking in the early years.

Since 2004, PSR has sponsored school readiness measurement in Santa Clara County.  Click here for more information. 

Report links school readiness with 3rd grade achievement

School Readiness and Student Achievement:
A Longitudinal Analysis of Santa Clara and San Mateo County Students

SCCPSR - Links to 3rd Grade

The kindergarten entry skill profiles of over 1330 children who entered school in 2004 and 2005 were matched with their academic achievement results in 3rd grade.  This gives us a compelling picture of the academic trajectories of children who enter local schools with different skill profiles.

From birth - age 8, we expect our children to grow from healthy babies to successful students. The central hypothesis of the Partnership for School Readiness is that we can use data from a school readiness assessment to motivate investments and policy decisions that will improve the educational outcomes for our young children.  For several years we've been discussing the readiness gaps, and the large achievement gaps in 3rd grade reading scores but didn't have the data link between the 2 community indicators. The direct connection between school readiness and student achievement outlined in this report builds a strong case for the value of school readiness measurements in helping to understand how to improve the quality and alignment of the early learning systems that are serving our young children in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. 
Now we have local data to support our assumptions that:

  1. Readiness is important for school success.
  2. Readiness is not sufficient --  some of our children who enter school well prepared are not achieving at grade level by 3rd grade
  3. Readiness measurements offer important insights to both the ECE community and the elementary schools.

A few highlights --

  • The children who are most likely to be successful in 3rd grade have readiness profiles that are strong in both K academics (letters, numbers, rhyming, counting, etc) and self-regulation (focusing attention, following directions, controlling impulses, etc.). See pages 46-56 to see what child, family and readiness factors are linked to academic performance.
    • To think about:  During the 2004-2008 data collection cycles, K teachers consistently told us that K academic skills were the LEAST important for children to have at entry
  • 39% of the kids entered school strong in both K academics and self-regulation.  Of these children with stronger readiness skills, 68% were proficient in both reading and math at 3rd grade.
    • To think about: 32% of the "ready" children were below proficiency in at least 1 test at 3rd grade and 11% were below proficiency in both tests. See pages 61-64 to see which children are falling farther behind.
  • 28% of the kids entered school with real challenges -- low skills in both K academics and self-regulation.  Of those children 80% were below proficiency on at least one of the 3rd grade tests.  Half were below proficiency on both tests.
  • To think about: Some kids are thriving at 3rd grade despite low readiness. See pages 64-68 to see which children are catching up.


The following illustration highlights the academic trajectories of children with different readiness profiles at Kindergarten entry