Reading Development and Literacy Instruction in General Education must be acquired through systematic, explicit, multitiered, and balanced instruction.


Reading and writing are an unavoidable part of our daily lives, thanks to ubiquitous digital technologies such as e-mail, texting, social media, etc. In fact, we communicate through written text more today than at any time in the history of mankind. This fact makes the ability to read and write imperative for success in today's schools and in the workplace. Reading literacy acquisition is not an easy process for more than half of all children; thus, only 33 percent of students today read proficiently. In order for all diverse student populations to attain grade level reading proficiency, they need tiered reading instruction delivered by skilled and knowledgeable teachers in grades K-3. Additionally, student achievement can only improve if content area teachers in grades 4-12 are committed to incorporating reading literacy into their instruction, allowing the students to become subject-matter literate (i.e. Science literate).

Why this is important:

  • In grades K-1 a student learns to read. In grades 2 and 3 a students learns to understand (comprehend) what they are reading and write about the material. By grade 4 students need to enter a different phase of reading with the connected purposes of "reading for knowledge" (reading literacy) and of writing and speaking with structure and thought.
  • Up through grade 3, students concentrate on fluency attainment and text comprehension.
  • By grade 4, students continue their work toward full literacy through writing, speaking, language, and listening instruction in content area subjects, which, in turn, leads to subject area literacy. Students must be able to pick up a science text and fully comprehend what it is saying.
  • If a student has not received quality instruction preparing them for grade 4 and beyond, intense and increased instructional supports must be provided immediately, for as long as it takes the student to acquire grade-level reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

Goals of instruction:

  • Literacy policy is enacted to produce literate, career-ready citizens.
  • To provide students in grades K-3 with quality foundational reading, writing, speaking, and listening instruction to ensure that they are grade level proficient. For students who are not at grade level at any stage during K-3, intervene immediately and continuously until grade level is attained.
  • To ensure that all students by grade 4 are capable of reading with both critical analysis and reflective thinking across a wide range of subjects. Ready to become subject-literate in grades 4-12 (i.e. math literate).

How skilled teachers, high quality instruction, and assessments achieve these goals:

  • All K-3 teachers are Certified Teachers of Reading capable of ensuring that all students reach grade level proficiency. All subject area teachers are also skilled as reading teachers to ensure that students are capable of reading grade level text with critical analysis and reflective thinking across multiple subject areas.
  • All students must regularly be assessed so that identification of needed interventions can happen immediately and throughout school depending on grade level demands, K through high school graduation.

Key points:

Reading literacy acquisition is attained through a complex development progression.

All reading instruction must be data-validated by science and consist of foundational reading and language instruction, speaking and listening instruction, and writing literacy instruction.

Executive Summary