EARLY LITERACY: Reading Standards Being Adopted

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The Iowa State Board of Education is working towards adopting rules relating to early literacy programs. The detailed standards are set by a bill passed last year.

The legislation aims at having students proficient in reading by the end of the third grade.

The core instruction is based off the National Reading Panel’s five components to early literacy: phonemic awareness, phonics skills, fluent reading, vocabulary, and comprehension.

The Deputy Director of the Iowa Department of Education William Tilly says it’s crucial students are proficient in reading before starting fourth grade because this is when students begin to transition from learning how to read versus reading to learn.

“If they don`t have those basic reading skills when they`re learning social studies and learning math, they don`t have those basic reading skills. It really puts those students at a disadvantage as they move up into the higher level coursework,” Tilly explains.

A public hearing on the rules is scheduled for January 3 with a final vote expected early next year.