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Whether the measure is third grade literacy, on-time grade promotion, grade level proficiency, completion of rigorous courses, or high school graduation, there are significant gaps between the present performance of children – especially poor children, and children of color – and benchmarks predicting future academic and life success. Far too often our schools allow children to fall behind early on and then fail to catch them up effectively. CDF is working to remove barriers and help children overcome obstacles that remain to ensure students have access to the high standards and appropriate supports they need to be ready for life as successful, contributing adults.