Why is it important?
Many children in Langley Park are performing below grade level and are severely off track for academic success, and the situation worsens as students transition to high school. In the fifth grade the percentage of Langley Park Students proficient in math drops below 80% and remains below 80% in grades 6-8, with a low of below 50% proficiency by the 8th grade. After the fifth grade the percentage of Langley Park students reading proficiently drops below 80%, and below 60% by eighth grade. Moreover, the risks are particularly acute for the 46% of LPPN students (of all ages) that are LEP, and the 12% that are redesignated LEP. In grades 3-5, LEP students begin to fall behind their peers in reading, and there is an extreme achievement gap between LEP fifth grade performance in math (less than 60% of students are proficient) and non-LEP fifth graders (nearly 80% at proficiency). Moreover, fewer than 30% and 20% of LEP 8th graders are proficient in reading and math respectively. Further, LPPN data from student focus groups indicate that falling behind academically leads many students to drop out of school, and early work experiences also come at a high cost. In Langley Park, 37% of youth ages 16 to 19 are working and not in school, compared to only 7 or 8 percent in the county, state, or nationally. Accordingly, in high school—one of the most essential stages of the cradle-to-career pipeline—students in grades 9 and 12 have the highest rate of absenteeism in the entire Langley Park K-12 system.