In 2022, NASBE formed the Early Literacy Work Group so that state board members and staff can learn from national experts about early-literacy trends and research and from other states that have employed effective policies and practices to increase young children’s reading success.
Research demonstrates that students not reading proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to not finish high school. Third grade marks an important turning point, when the focus shifts from learning-to-read to reading-to-learn. During this transition, students spend less time learning new reading skills and are instead learning new content and concepts that the reading conveys. However, the most recent NAEP score in 2019 revealed that the percentage of fourth-grade public school students performing at or above the NAEP Proficient level in reading was 34 percent nationally, which was below the levels in the 2017 report. The declining reading achievement has caused state policymakers and practitioners to strengthen their engagement on the early literacy issue. In recognition of this importance, NASBE has formed an Early Literacy Work Group to promote learning and action among state boards. The work group will cover a range of content and policy knowledge about early literacy for children across early childhood and elementary grades, including, but not limited to the following:
State board members can join the Early Literacy Work Group on an individual basis. If you want to learn more, contact Joey Hedger at firstname.lastname@example.org.