Early reading in the Rockies

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Colorado's new early childhood literacy bill has some components that set it apart from some of the other similarly-intentioned proposals floating around out there. It's one thing to draw the line in the sand at the end of third grade and say that kids who are behind cannot advance. It's quite another to provide the support and the curriculum necessary for them to be successful, and Colorado commendably has recognized the importance of both of these key ingredients.

What stands out to us is that students identified as having reading deficiencies two years in a row are to be taught by teachers who have expertise in teaching reading and have received an effective or highly effective rating on recent performance evaluations. But Colorado doesn't stop there: the new law is explicit that programming and interventions for struggling readers must be grounded in scientifically based reading instruction. If well implemented, we're optimistic that this is a recipe for helping all kids to enter the fourth grade as proficient readers.  

Sarah Brody