3rd Grade Assessment: Reading

What is the 3rd grade assessment?

3rd grade marks the first year that standardized state assessments of reading and math are administered in Oregon. The 3rd grade reading assessment is used to screen students for reading problems, monitor progress in reading over time, determine level of reading proficiency, and diagnose potential sources of reading difficulty.

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has made changes to the 3rd grade assessment over time, and 2 of these changes occurred during OCID’s reporting timeline with one starting in the 2011-12 school year and the other starting in the 2014-15 school year. Results after these changes were made are not comparable to prior year data.

For education-related indicators, the year refers to the fall start of the academic year. For example, 2016 refers to the 2016-17 academic year. To learn more about the 3rd Grade Assessment data presented here and the changes made by ODE, check out our Technical Dictionary.

Why is the 3rd grade assessment important?

Reading is widely seen as the most crucial academic skill because it is the foundation for learning. 3rd grade reading is an important measure of child well-being because 3rd grade is seen as the final year children are ‘learning to read.’ After 3rd grade, they are ‘reading to learn.’ If children are not proficient readers by the end of 3rd grade, much of the curricula they will be taught in 4th grade and beyond will be very difficult to understand.

A range of high-quality research has documented that 3rd graders who are not reading at grade level are among the most vulnerable to drop out of school later, and also to experience a range of other behavioral and social problems. One of the strongest predictors of high school graduation is the ability to read proficiently by the end of third grade.


To learn more about the 3rd grade assessment, please visit these Oregon Department of Education (ODE) resources:

Please remember the following
  • OCID only includes children born in Oregon since 2001; ideally, the dataset will be expanded over time to represent all of the children in Oregon.
  • OCID only includes education data for children attending Oregon public schools.
  • At this time, OCID is only able to filter education indicators by race and ethnicity; OCID is working to develop an overarching methodology to allow for an in-depth view into racial and ethnic disparities across all data in OCID.
  • To protect the identities of individuals, OCID only shows results for populations; where populations are too small and could reveal identifiable information, OCID shows the result as “Null.”

For more information about the dataset, please visit our Technical Dictionary.

Ready to explore the data?

The indicator display below provides two views:

  • A dashboard view for a structured way to look at the indicator by selecting a geography and then 1-2 other attributes; and,
  • A “sandbox” view for freely exploring the various attributes.

Please visit the About OCID and Explore OCID Population pages before exploring the data. For details on the indicator, attributes, data sources, and limitations, please visit the Well-being Dashboard Technical Dictionary.


What explains any trends and disparities?

We don’t know yet. The Dashboard shows descriptive data, not causal relationships. In depth analyses are needed to understand why disparities or trends occur.

The OCID team conducts targeted analyses using advanced statistical methods to shed light on policy questions prioritized by the Governance Committee. These analyses aim to provide Oregon-specific and timely information for policymakers, allowing them to take a data-driven approach to improving outcomes for Oregon’s children. Sign up below to receive OCID updates.

Suggested citation: Center for Evidence-based Policy, Oregon Health & Science University. 3rd grade assessment: reading dashboard. Oregon Child Integrated Dataset (OCID) website. https://www.ocid-cebp.org/outcome/3rd-grade-assessment-reading/. Published February 10, 2020.

The Center for Evidence-based Policy partners with the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness, also at Oregon Health & Science University, on dashboard analytics.