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Early Reading

Education Program Strategy: Early Reading

Goal: Support policy efforts to ensure that students read well by the end of third grade to help close the achievement gap.

Theory of Change: Experts agree that ensuring students read well by the end of third grade is critical to their ability to graduate from high school. Yet two-thirds of all American children cannot read at grade level by the fourth grade. For Latino, African American and American Indian children, this number is 80 percent. And, students who fail to graduate from high school are markedly more likely to end up unemployed, poor or incarcerated.

The Joyce Approach

Create more effective policies and measures of student and teacher performance on important reading skills in grades pre-K–3.

  • Support development of new assessments to better determine student early reading needs, and to provide additional supports and accountability for teachers.

Encourage policy changes that provide pre-K–3 teachers with more training before and after they enter the classroom on how to most effectively teach reading.

  • Fund research and policy development that show rigorous, research-based early reading training leads to improved student outcomes.

Integrate effective early reading policies with other Joyce Foundation teacher quality strategies.

  • Fund policy development and advocacy to encourage teacher participation in early reading training, and require our neediest students have effective reading teachers.

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