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Adolescent Literacy: State Provides Supports for Local Literacy Plans

A level of state support for local plans emphasizes their importance. "Support" can be a cadre of state department staff offering guidance in drawing up the plan, state convening of regional literacy summits, or monetary supports for research materials. This differs from state support of professional development for teachers where teachers attain the skills to diagnose reading problems and better help students.

Why does it matter?

  • Implementation occurs at the local level.

  • Highlights:

  • Eleven states provide support for local efforts.
  • Five states have efforts in practice but not in policy.
  • The 2004 Florida legislature made reading funds a permanent part of the public school funding formula in an effort to extend reading support services to middle and high school.
  • Note:
    "In practice" means an approach is not authorized or required by state policy but appears to take place in practice.

    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 agencies. The information will be updated as changes occur.

    Sources for all data points 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 provides supports for local literacy plans
    Alabama No policy evident, but in practice state appears to support local literacy plans.
    Arkansas Yes, through the School Improvement Unit and Professional Development Section.  In addition, content literacy support is available through the professional development providers in regional educational cooperatives and centers on university campuses.
    Connecticut No policy is evident but in practice the state appears to provide local literacy plans. Through its January 2007 release of their resource materials on adolescent literacy and follow-up interactive workshops and technical assistance to all districts, the State Department of Education provides professional support for local literacy plans.
    Florida Yes, statute provides a reading allocation to be used to implement a district K-12 comprehensive reading plan.  Guidance and approval for this plan is provided by Just Read, Florida! 

    Legislation in 2004 made reading funds a permanent part of the public school funding formula in an effort to extend reading support services to middle and high school. The "Middle Grade Reform Act" requires that all middle school reading and language arts programs be proven effective through research by 2008-09 and that middle schools with 25% or more students reading below grade level develop specific plans to improve reading among same-grade cohorts.

    Just Read, Florida! program, created by the legislature in 2006, provides technical assistance to school districts in the development and implementation of district plans. Just Read! Florida also reviews and approves district plans annually.
    Illinois Yes
    Kentucky Department of education has literacy resources on Web site, including PERKS (Program Effectiveness Review for Kentucky Schools) documents with booklet to help novice teachers use tools to review and assess school's literacy program.
    Minnesota No policy is evident, but in practice that state appears to provide support for local efforts. State department of education developed A Model Secondary (6-12) Plan for Reading Intervention and Development in January 2006.
    New Jersey 2007 legislation appropriated $750,000 for the Governor's Literacy Initiative.  Funds were to be used for providing grants to districts to improve instruction in language arts. The commissioner of education formed a Task Force on Middle Grades Literacy Education to raise the profile of the literacy crisis in grades four through eight.
    New Mexico Yes
    New York In practice.  The department of education offers Web resources and core curricula guidance materials for districts to develop local curriculum and instruction plans, including literacy. The Web sites include guidance materials that support the English Language Arts Learning Standards.
    North Carolina Focusing on Literacy in the Middle Grades provides $5.7 million for 100 additional middle school literacy coaches (were already 100 literacy coaches established in 2006) along with $2 million in support of the N.C. Teacher Academy to provide training in reading.
    Ohio Yes
    Rhode Island Yes
    Virginia Yes, through the Office of School Improvement with school-level and division-level academic reviews.
    Washington Yes
    Wisconsin In practice. The department of public instruction provides technical assistance and has published a toolkit that focuses on improving literacy.


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