Elementary Reading Network
Third grade reading proficiency is one of the most influential indicators for overall student success. Why? Before third grade, students are learning to read. But as they enter the fourth grade they must be able to read in order to continue learning. According to data from the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, roughly 67 percent of students nationwide - and more than 80 percent of those from low-income families - are not proficient readers by the end of the third grade. The Elementary Reading Network brings together community volunteers, including teachers and school leaders from Racine Unified School District, nonprofits, and community members to use data to identify programs and strategies that will increase elementary reading achievement.   


Our Work: Using Data as a Flashlight

Data-driven decision-making is a core principle at Higher Expectations. We believe that, by constantly using data to understand how programs are working, we will ensure that we are improving programs that already exist and implementing new programs that will help us reach out goals. Higher Expectations is working closely with these programs by using data to see what works:

​United Way of Racine County’s Schools of Hope
A United Way-led initiative in partnership with Racine Unified School District, local businesses, and community members, Schools of Hope provides young children with tutors on a regular basis to increase reading achievement in the early grades.

Youth Leadership Academy
The Young Leaders Academy (YLA) is a year-round program consisting of three components dedicated to reversing the negative trend of low academic achievement and stereotypical behavior of youth ages 7-18 from low-income communities in Racine, WI.

Lighted Schoolhouse 
The Lighted Schoolhouse Program is for students in grades K-5. The program focuses on strengthening academic achievement and social growth by offering unique learning opportunities in a safe and nurturing environment. Some of the classes that we offer are academic support classes in art, culture, leadership, recreational fitness, technology, and social and emotional growth in many elementary schools.  


Continuous Improvement - Professional Learning Community
Higher Expectations has partnered with Racine Unified School District (RUSD) to help teachers continuously use data to better track student progress and make improvements to ensure students are successful. Recently, Higher Expectations and many RUSD teachers participated in the School District of Menomonee Falls' Symposium on Continuous Improvement, where participants saw firsthand how teachers and staff are using data to measure student achievement and adjust practices. Building on the work of RUSD and the School District of Menomonee Falls, Higher Expectations is helping to create communities of practice for RUSD teachers interested in learning from one another about how to implement continuous improvement practices.  

If you want to learn more about Continuous Improvement, check out our article on the Higher Expectations news page.

Racine Early Intervention Academy
With support from the StriveTogether Accelerator Fund, Higher Expectations has partnered with Racine Unified School District (RUSD) to help seven first grade teachers build their expertise around literacy. The initiative, known as Racine Early Intervention (REI), includes coaching from an RUSD literacy support teacher and participation in a Concordia University supported graduate-level course. Higher Expectations is working closely with RUSD to help track and analyze data on a regular basis to assess the impact of these supports on student achievement.

Network Resources 

Higher Expectations Elementary Reading Data Dashboard
View and compare elementary literacy data on a local and national level with Higher Expectations Data Dashboards.

Schools of Hope
Are you interested in becoming a Schools of Hope tutor? Learn more at United Way of Racine County's website.

Youth Leadership Academy
More information on the Youth Leadership Program in Racine.

Lighted Schoolhouse
More information on Racine Unified's Lighted Schoolhouse program.

Network Partners