Case Study: How Two Schools in Tucson Made Dramatic Gains in Third Grade Reading

February 12, 2024

Read On Arizona

Many schools and districts in Arizona and across the country have understandably struggled to recover from the unprecedented declines in student achievement resulting from the pandemic. On average, third grade reading proficiency among Arizona public and charter schools declined by 5 percentage points between 2019 and 2022, as measured by the state’s annual English Language Arts assessment.

Remarkably, both of Tanque Verde Unified School District’s elementary schools showed significant increases over the same period, reaching levels of student achievement even higher than their pre-pandemic rates.

As part of our “Decoding What Works” series of case studies, Read On Arizona sat down with school leaders to understand the strategies they believe contributed to the dramatic gains in third grade reading proficiency at Agua Caliente Elementary and Tanque Verde Elementary:

  1. Grade-level teachers working together.
  2. Real-time student data to drive instruction.
  3. Re-engaging students and families to reduce chronic absence.

Read the Case Study

About the Case Studies

Our "Decoding What Works" case studies highlight elementary schools and early learning programs in Arizona that have made exceptional gains in literacy and the strategies behind their success.

Read On Arizona examined relevant data to identify sites and schools that have demonstrated significant improvement in reading outcomes, because understanding what is working for them can serve as guidance and inspiration for other educators, schools, and districts.

These schools are shining examples of the fact that, with the right support and instruction, we can teach our children to read at grade level.

More sites and schools in the “Decoding What Works” series of case studies are coming soon.