Reading on grade level by 4th grade

Why we need strong policies on early literacy skills

A child who cannot read by 4th grade is four times more likely to drop out of high school. That is why it is imperative that we create strong policy solutions to highlight this necessary early intervention.  We call for states and school districts to implement an effective plan that guarantees all students are reading on grade level and have mastered early literacy skills by the time they reach 4th grade.

To achieve 4th grade reading comprehension for all, school districts’ plans should include:  

  • Research‐based state standards and school district reading curriculum and resources that are proven to be effective for all children, including a well-developed plan for supporting English Learners.
  • Ongoing professional development for teachers that is aligned with the curriculum and focuses on early literacy instruction as well as 4th grade reading comprehension.
  • A way to identify struggling readers early on, as well as remediation techniques for struggling readers – including giving struggling students access to the most effective reading teachers.
  • An accountability tool that measures state, school district, and schools’ progress in early literacy skills and 3rd grade reading proficiency.   

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