ACT: Once ‘far off track,’ few catch up

Fourth and eighth graders who are “far off track” academically — more than a standard deviation behind — rarely catch up over four year, reports ACT.

Start early to close gaps in academic preparation, the report recommends. Some approaches, such as providing a “content-and vocabulary-rich curriculum,” will benefit all students in the early years. In middle and high school, however, educators should acknowledge that programs that work for on-track students may not work for those who are off track and vice versa.