An eye-catching result, based on national data: ACT determines what percentage of eighth-graders meet some or all of four benchmark goals. The percentages of kids who meet zero, one, two, three or all four goals in eighth grade are almost exactly the same as the percentages who meet comparable benchmarks in 12th grade.
What does that say? "The level of academic achievement that students attain by eighth grade has a larger impact on their college and career readiness by the time they graduate high school than anything that happens academically in high school," an ACT study concluded in 2008.
In other words: If a kid is on track to do well by eighth grade, the odds are very strong the kid will do well in high school. Which is why there is a big push, in better schools, in Wisconsin as a whole and nationwide, to improve efforts to spot kids who are getting off track early and do more to help them right away.
To read the whole Borsuk article, click here.