74% of Arizona fourth graders read below proficiency levels

Only 13 percent of Arizona children entering kindergarten meet benchmark early literacy skills.

Studies say students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a high school diploma. The number rises when those children also grow up in poverty.

According to literaryconnects.org, 74% of Arizona fourth-graders test below proficient in reading.

Yuma County District One Superintendent Darwin Stiffler said, “We really need to worry about those 25 kids and have special programs to bring them up to speed.”

According to Arizona law, a student has to retake the 3rd grade if they don’t know how to read.

Stiffler said, “You basically have until you’re 8 years old to learn how to read proficiently.”

This year we are working on personalized learning and tailoring based on students needs.

Stiffler says they are incorporating Ipads into students learning as well as reading interventionists, before school programs and after school programs to help students get up to speed.

The greatest predictor of a child’s success in school is education level of the parent.

In some of our schools every kindergartner that comes to school none of them speak English.

They start with the basics and teach phonics. Stiffler said, “We don’t translate, we teach them English as quickly as we can. That’s also Arizona law that we teach in English.”

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