Children’s academic future is decided by third grade: Average students rarely turn into high achievers in later years. So warns K5 Learning after re-crunching the numbers in Fordham Institute‘s study, Do High Flyers Maintain their Altitude? (pdf.)
While Fordham looked at progress for children in the top 10 percent, K5 Learning looked at the also-rans. Children who performed in the bottom 1/3 in reading or math in grade 3 had less than a 1% chance of being high achievers by grade 8. Even average students in grade 3, (between 40 and 60 percentile) had less than a 5% chance of becoming high achievers later.
Kids performing in the 60-70 percentile range in grade 3 had about a 8-9% chance of becoming high achievers by grade 8.
“High achiever” is defined as scoring in the 90th percentile or above in reading and math. It is possible to have a decent life with less exalted performance.
K5 Learning provides “reading and math enrichment.” If you hire a tutor, will your 60th percentile second grader turn into a Harvard-bound third grader? There are no guarantees.