The elementary school years are a critical transition time in the learning process of most children. For most children, these are the years that will make or break their academic progress in school and potentially in a future career. Research with adults has shown that certain personality traits (Conscientiousness and Agreeableness) have a significant impact on job performance criteria. Based on earlier exploratory research (Sneed 1989), this study hypothesizes that certain personality traits (Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience) will have a similar impact on the achievement of elementary-aged children. The goals in this study were three-fold. The first was to attempt to reproduce the predictive personality variables. The second was to compare teacher and parent ratings of personality dimensions, particularly in their potential to form higherorder or broad constructs. The third goal was concerned with external validity and addressed how well the higher-order personality factors predicted two criterion-related measures of academic skills, Academic Achievement and Word Skills, and whether differences in low reading achieving and normal reading achieving students are mediated by individual differences in the higher-order personality rating factors. That is, do teacher and parent assessment of child competence play a mediating role in predicting deficits in academic achievement and reading competence? Structural equation modeling (Joreskog & Sorbom 1988) techniques were used to test these research goals. The results showed that (a) two higher-order factors, Child Competence: Teacher and Child Competence: Parent, explained the relations among five child competence constructs, (b) the higher-order factor Child Competence: Teacher predicted individual differences in the two criterion measures of academic skills, Academic Achievement and Word Skills, and (c) low achieving students showed significant deficits only in the two higher-order factors. The data suggested a moderating role for the personality characteristics represented by the higher-order factors. That is, certain personality dimensions are predicted to have a critical impact on achievement.