Special Report

Building Literacy Skills

The state of reading instruction in grades K-3
May 13, 2015
Early-grades reading instruction has long been a central point of emphasis—and concern—for educators and policymakers. That's in large part owing to a provocative body of research showing that students who don't read with proficiency by the end of 3rd grade are far more likely to experience poor academic outcomes, including leaving school without a diploma. This Education Week special report takes a wide-ranging look at new efforts to address the challenges of early-grades reading instruction.
  • Reading & Literacy Should 3rd Grade Be the Pivot Point for Early Reading?
    New research calls into question the widespread practice of retaining students in 3rd grade based on their reading proficiency.
    Sarah D. Sparks, May 11, 2015
    9 min read
    Education Quiz: Test Your Knowledge About Reading Development
    There are common misconceptions about how students master literacy in the early grades. This interactive quiz, based on research, will test your knowledge of early reading development.
    May 11, 2015
    Reading & Literacy Editors Note: Building Literacy Skills
    This Education Week special report takes a wide-ranging look at new efforts to address the challenges of early-grades reading instruction, particularly in light of the waning influence of the federal Reading First program.
    The Editors, May 11, 2015
    1 min read
    Vada Mooney, left, and Jakhai Bland-Jenious, both 4, play literacy games on tablet computers at Pine Ridge Prep in Topeka, Kan., part of a free program for students in public housing.
    Vada Mooney, left, and Jakhai Bland-Jenious, both 4, play literacy games on tablet computers at Pine Ridge Prep in Topeka, Kan., part of a free program for students in public housing.
    Barrett Emke for Education Week
    Student Well-Being Push for Grade-Level Reading Takes Many Forms
    A school attendance program in Connecticut, a free preschool in Kansas, and summer learning programs in Illinois and Iowa are all part of an effort to ensure students read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.
    Catherine Gewertz, May 11, 2015
    3 min read
    First grader Noah Bayu, left, writes a sentence incorporating vocabulary words as his classmates, Madelis Salvador Lopez, right, and Josue Nava-Lanza, center, look on at the Center City Public Charter School’s Brightwood Campus, in Washington. The school is moving vocabulary instruction into thematic units.
    First grader Noah Bayu, left, writes a sentence incorporating vocabulary words as his classmates, Madelis Salvador Lopez, right, and Josue Nava-Lanza, center, look on at the Center City Public Charter School’s Brightwood Campus, in Washington. The school is moving vocabulary instruction into thematic units.
    Swikar Patel/Education Week
    Reading & Literacy Under Common Core, Students Learn Words by Learning About the World
    Under the common core, teachers are building students' vocabulary skills by teaching words in context, rather than through word lists.
    Liana Loewus, May 11, 2015
    8 min read
    Kindergartners Jaylen Rivers, Jalisha Lee, and KenmaJ Shell, left to right, practice literacy skills with their teacher, Diane Daniel, at Southside Primary School in Selma, Ala. Educators credit teacher professional development for the state’s reading gains.
    Kindergartners Jaylen Rivers, Jalisha Lee, and KenmaJ Shell, left to right, practice literacy skills with their teacher, Diane Daniel, at Southside Primary School in Selma, Ala. Educators credit teacher professional development for the state’s reading gains.
    Julie Bennett for Education Week
    Reading & Literacy Ala. Reading Intervention Stands Test of Time
    A statewide reading initiative begun 17 years ago in Alabama is credited with raising reading scores and narrowing racial achievement gaps in one of the nation’s poorest states.
    Stephen Sawchuk, May 11, 2015
    12 min read
    Reading & Literacy Reading Fluency Viewed as Neglected Skill
    Fifteen years after the National Reading Panel identified it as a pillar of reading instruction, fluency remains a neglected and somewhat misunderstood skill, according to experts.
    Liana Loewus, May 11, 2015
    6 min read
    Kindergartners take part in a read-aloud session led by their teacher, Jamie Landahl, at Ruby Duncan Elementary School in North Las Vegas.
    Kindergartners take part in a read-aloud session led by their teacher, Jamie Landahl, at Ruby Duncan Elementary School in North Las Vegas.
    Tiffany Brown Anderson/Redux for Education Week
    Reading & Literacy New Read-Aloud Strategies Transform Story Time
    Under the common core, teachers use new questioning techniques to help the youngest students learn to draw evidence from what they read.
    Catherine Gewertz, May 11, 2015
    8 min read