At-risk students who fall behind are more likely to stay behind

Children who are behind in maths and English are less likely to improve over four years if they are are from “at-risk” socio-economic demographic groupings.

An analysis of student data from grades four and eight in Arkansas and Kentucky, America, showed that fewer than 10% (and in maths only 1%) of “far off track” at-risk students caught up and achieved college readiness benchmarks.

“At-risk” students included low-income, African American and Hispanic students.

The study concluded that efforts to close academic gaps should begin as early as possible, be more intensive, and take as long as necessary. Policymakers are also encouraged to focus on school accountability for long-term improvements in student skills and learning.

Read more at ACT Research and Policy