(NEWS CENTER Maine) — A new report by Educate Maine shows low-income students tend to perform lower in math and reading and that achievement gap negatively impacts their success throughout their entire school career.
Educate Maine is a non-partisan advocacy organization created to better understand Maine's entire education system.
Some of the key findings in the report show less than 40-percent of Maine students in fourth and eighth grade are proficient in both reading and math.
"There is an achievement gap for low-income students in reading and math," the report reads. "Maine has not made progress in closing the gap."
Only one-third of high school students in eleventh grade are proficient in math and over half are proficient in reading. according to the report.
"The achievement gap seen in earlier grades carries forward into high school," the report reads. "Negatively affecting graduation rates and proficiency scores of low-income students."
Despite those low marks, Maine has a standout graduation rate with 87 percent of Maine students graduating from high school over the last four years, according to the report.
The organization would like to see 60 percent of Maine adults holding a certificate, industry credential, or college degree by 2025. According to the report, currently, only 44 percent of Maine adults do.
Another big focus of the report is on early childhood education.
"High-quality preschool lays the foundation for success," the report reads. "Maine needs more of its children participating in these programs and must ensure that quality affordable options are available statewide for all families."
The report found 42 percent of three and four-year-olds attend a private or public preschool in Maine.
"36 percent of children from families with income below 200-percent of the poverty level are enrolled in preschool," the report reads. "Compared with 49 percent of those with higher family income."
This story will be updated.