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Adolescent Literacy: State Has Literacy Report Card or Other Means to Build Momentum for Improving Adolescent Literacy

A literacy report card might include progress being made in student test scores, curriculum alignment and teacher training. Or a state might simply include adolescent literacy gains in its annual report card. 

Why does it matter?

  • State efforts to successfully raise K-3 reading skills can flounder in later grades if effective teaching of reading is neglected in the upper elementary and secondary grades.
  • Effective change takes time and commitment; there are no shortcuts and no places to stop.
  • Nearly half of the undergraduates enrolled in remedial classes in 2000 took remedial writing and 35% took remedial reading (National Center for Education Statistics, 2001)
  • Literacy demands for today's workforce have accelerated and will continue to do so.
  • Highlights:

  • Seven states have established a program to build momentum for improving adolescent literacy.
  • Florida and Massachusetts do not produce a literacy report card, but have alternate means of building momentum for adolescent literacy.
  • In Rhode Island, the State Literacy Advisory Panel helps support momentum by providing advice concerning adolescent literacy – including the creation, dissemination and regular updating of pertinent resource materials for public schools. In addition, the commissioner of education reports to the governor and the legislature regarding the implementation of the literacy program.

  • Note:
    A "yes" for this question can be awarded for either a literacy report card (such as literacy progress reported on the annual report card required by NCLB) or by other means of building momentum. Distinction has been made in the answers.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, recently enacted legislation (session laws), and rules and regulations. Where necessary, statewide initiatives created outside of policy were collected from state education agencies. The information will be updated as changes occur.

    Sources for all datapoints are available through this link.

    Last updated: June 2008

    Research was conducted by Melodye Bush. Please contact Bush at 303-299-3631 or mbush@ecs.org with comments or questions about this database.

    State has literacy report card or other means to build momentum for improving adolescent literacy
    Arkansas Yes
    Connecticut Yes
    Florida Other means of momentum: Schools must provide quarterly reports to the district superintendent on student progress toward increased reading achievement.
    Illinois Yes, the state superintendent is to report annually to the leadership of the legislature on the results of the Continued Reading Improvement Block Grant Program and the progress being made in improving the reading skills of students in grades 7 through 12. 
    Massachusetts Other means of building momentum: Massachusetts received a "Reading to Achieve" grant in 2006 and the result is a preK-12 literacy plan aligned to the department of education's goals of closing existing literacy achievement gaps and preventing new gaps from emerging. The state department of education began implementing the recommendations in January 2007, and it is anticipated that the fully implemented literacy plan will be in place in 2012. The plan will require collaboration of the governor, the boards of education, higher education, early education and care, the University of Massachusetts, and the business and philanthropic communities. It is anticipated that the fully implemented literacy plan will be instrumental in helping all students achieve proficiency and beyond in reading, writing and language development and prepare all students for success in college and the workplace.
    New Mexico Yes
    Rhode Island Yes, the State Literacy Advisory Panel helps support momentum by providing advice concerning adolescent literacy including the creation, dissemination and regular updating of pertinent resource materials for RI schools.  In addition, the commissioner of education is to report to the governor and the legislature regarding the implementation of the literacy program.
    Tennessee Yes


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