America's Reading Crisis

In this information age, where the majority of U.S. jobs are in the fields of science, technology, and engineering, people who are not functionally literate don't have the same opportunities for success as those who are proficient readers.

Time For a Reading Revolution

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Where We Are Now

  • 37% of 4th graders and 36% of 8th graders scored proficient or advanced on the 2017 NAEP (Nation's Report Card) 


  • 32% of 4th graders and 24% of 8th graders scored below "basic" on the NAEP. (This achievement level scoring means that one out of every three students in 4th grade cannot determine whether statements support a conclusion, make simple inferences, find the main idea, or infer the meaning of an unknown word from context.)


  • U.S. is ranked 17th out of 34 developed countries in reading in the world (PISA, 2012)

Where We Should Be

Proficient

Children must be able to achieve grade level reading benchmarks in order to learn grade level curriculum.  Children who read well become adults who have greater lifetime earnings potential, are healthier socially and physically, and have easier access to lifetime learning.


Prioritized

All stakeholders need to prioritize reading. School leaders must sponsor and actively lead necessary system-wide changes. Teachers must be provided ongoing professional development and support, as well as having a critical role in establishing reading policy/vision. Parents must actively participate in educational planning and development of their children’s reading program.


Pervasive

School systems must create sustainable and integrated systems of reading instruction tiered to support all learners on the path to reading proficiency. Reading systems must effectively target the individual learning needs of diverse populations using intensive, highly effective reading interventions. Districts must maintain high expectations for reading development for English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with learning disabilities, while proficient and advanced readers need to be challenged.

Bridging the Research-to-Practice Gap

  

Reading is the most important skill children come to school to learn. All other learning stems from being able to read. We must commit to building a system with the inherent flexibility needed to meet the reading needs of a diverse population. Reading research provides meaningful insight into how children learn to read and what we need to do to help those that have difficulty learning to read. Yet there is a huge gap between what research tells us works (or doesn’t) and what we practice in the classroom. 


Rather than playing catch-up with students who fall behind and get left further and further behind, we need an integrated system designed to “catch them before they fall.” Revolutionary, as opposed to evolutionary, changes are needed to overcome current system deficiencies. Fortunately, an intensive tiered system can be used to redesign the teaching process so that learning modes can be targeted to a diverse student population.

Highly Effective Literacy Systems

Using our highly effective literacy systems, your district will develop these essential components:

  • Leadership willing and able to prioritize literacy
  • System-wide commitment to improved literacy
  • Conceptual understanding of language and literacy development
  • Ongoing, effective professional development and teacher support
  • Communication looping
  • Quality improvement planning
  • Clear and defined road map to reading proficiency for all students
  • Teachers enthusiastic and excited about teaching reading
  • Students who love to read