Predicting Students That Will Struggle Academically by Third Grade

Fellows: Monica Alexander, Charlotte Huang, Maximilian Klein
Data Science Mentor(s): Ali Vanderveld, Kevin Wilson
Project Manager: Chad Kenney
Project Partner: Tulsa Public Schools

Research indicates that 3rd grade is a crucial milestone for children; students behind academically at this point are more likely to struggle throughout their education. Early identification of children at risk of falling behind their peers, particularly on reading skills, can help teachers and schools provide additional help as soon as possible, returning kids to the appropriate grade level.

Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) serves 40,000 K-12 students, including 14,000 in kindergarten through 3rd grade. Using individualized data such as attendance, grades, zip code, and other anonymized information, DSSG helped TPS develop an “early warning system” to help teachers identify which of their students most need the most assistance in meeting grade level goals, and what addressable factors are predictive of falling behind. Additionally, TPS will enroll students at highest risk of falling behind by third grade into a reading aid course, and will use data to assess the effectiveness of different intervention programs.

More information about our work with Tulsa Public Schools can be found here.