Feb 22, 2024
ExcelinEd’s new Early Literacy Matters resource rates Louisiana as one of only three states taking action on all 18 of the organization’s early literacy fundamental principles.

(BATON ROUGE, LA) - Louisiana is at the top of a national list recognizing states for adopting a comprehensive early literacy policy to provide students with the foundational reading skills to learn, graduate, and succeed. ExcelinEd’s new Early Literacy Matters resource rates Louisiana as one of only three states taking action on all 18 of the organization’s early literacy fundamental principles.

“I was intentional about calling out our state’s literacy crisis early in my tenure and am pleased to see Louisiana leading the way with common sense reading reforms,” said Louisiana State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “With the support of our policy-makers, educators, and parents, Louisiana students will benefit from these bold efforts of education reform.”

The 18 early literacy fundamental principles include comprehensive policies for early identification, family engagement, teacher training and support, and intensive reading intervention and retention as a last resort for students struggling to read on grade-level.

The report found it noteworthy that Louisiana requires all school systems and schools to develop a literacy plan and provides guidance for creation of these plans through several resources. Among the areas where Louisiana was recognized for full implementation, the report found:

Science of reading training is required for all K–3 teachers

  • Universal reading screener for K–3 students
  • Parental notification of students identified with reading difficulties
  • Elimination of three-cueing systems
  • Individual reading plans for students identified as having a reading deficiency
  • Monitoring students’ progress within a multi-tiered system of support
  • Targeting students’ needs by adopting interventions grounded in the science of reading

Along with Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina are the only other states recognized for adoption and implementation of all 18 early literacy fundamental principles. Mississippi and Florida scored 17 out of 18 and Texas scored a 10 out of 18.

“Louisiana’s commitment to early literacy is yielding positive results.” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jenna Chiasson. “While we are pleased by the steps that have been taken in the classroom and the legislature, we know that sustained progress requires ongoing dedication and innovation.”

Louisiana has seen considerable literacy progress since the Louisiana Department of Education launched its statewide initiative. The Education Recovery Scorecard found that Louisiana is one of only three states where average reading achievement in 2023 was above 2019 levels. Louisiana’s 4th graders were No. 1 in the nation for reading growth on The Nation’s Report Card and economically disadvantaged 4th graders improved from 42nd to 11th overall for reading proficiency from 2019 to 2022.

Early Literacy Matters addresses an education topic foremost on everyone’s mind: learning to read. This first-of-its kind website provides a 50-state literacy map, documenting each state’s adoption of early literacy fundamentals and offering a regional view to spur progress. Recognizing that legislation is just one of several key steps, the website also highlights states’ implementation strategies that are improving literacy outcomes and closing learning gaps. Early Literacy Matters gives state leaders the critical data and customized guidance on the policies they need to affect rising student achievement.

ExcelinEd supports state leaders in transforming education to unlock opportunity and lifelong success for each and every child. The organization is focused on educational quality, innovation, and opportunity - both within and outside of the traditional system. ExcelinEd advances a broad range of student-centered policies.