Atlanta school kids trail Georgia students as a whole when it comes to proficiency in reading and math, according to an annual report published Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The study found that nationally, 65 percent of 4th graders were not proficient in reading in 2017. That’s an improvement of just 3 percentage points since 2009. Meanwhile, 67 percent of 8th graders weren’t proficient in math, the same as 2009.

Reading proficiency by the end of third grade and math proficiency by the end of 8th grade are key markers in a child’s development, Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs at the organization, told Patch this week. After third grade, children are expected to be able to use their reading skills to learn other subjects. Mastery becomes vital for students to continue their learning.

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