Is grade 3 THE critical year of school?

An opinion piece in TIME Ideas offers the theory that 3rd grade is the make or break year, academically, for many students, after which, “the Matthew effect” comes into play, predicting future school success or drop-out.  Timely intervention is the key, and some districts are looking at mandatory retention of those not yet reading at the end of grade 3, while others are recommending IEPs, special tutoring, summer school, etc., to ensure that the students make the grade.  What are your thoughts?

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1 Response to “Is grade 3 THE critical year of school?”


  1. 1 Ron Teffaine September 27, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I would not recommend retention because the research doesn’t favour that option. I would instead go with an IEP, special tutoring, summer school, etc.


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