Hitting the Cognitive Wall by Third Grade?

Roundup: Only about a third of U.S. 9-year-olds score at or above the national average in math, reading, and science; the results for black, Hispanic, and low-income kids are even more discouraging.

TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Rob MacPherson, Lifestyle-education-US-writing Christian Buzzerd (L), a teacher at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School in Ellicott City, Maryland, conducts a language arts class on October 15, 2013. For third-grade pupils at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School, learning to write joined-up letters is a no-brainer, but outside the classroom, grown-up Americans are debating whether the nation's children should be studying cursive at all. AFP PHOTO / Robert MacPherson (Photo credit should read Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images)
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