Literacy Act implementation test scores show improvement; nearly 12,000 students still falling behind
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If an Alabama law were fully implemented, 12,000 students across the state wouldn’t be moving on to the next grade. They’d be held back.
Last year, a portion of The Alabama Literacy Act went into effect it was created to help improve reading in Alabama public schools. It was also created to ensure students are reading on grade level by the end of the 3rd grade.
After one year, there has been only a small improvement in test scores. There is still a long way to go.
“Without that skill at the end of the third grade, they are four times more likely not to complete high school,” said Senior Research Associate for Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama Thomas Spencer.
Spencer says the 2022 Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program test scores show that 22 percent of third graders are not reading at a proficient level.
During the 2021 school year, Alabama implemented the Literacy Act curriculum to sharpen the focus on early grades reading.
“Particularly, students with learning disabilities and also students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds end to not come into school with quite the level of preparation and exposure to literature and reading that other kids get,” Spencer said.
According to the test scores, Wilcox County had the lowest test scores, with 58% of third graders falling behind, and the highest test scores were from Mountain Brook City, with just three percent.
“Parents, teachers, and communities need to work together and identify those students who are struggling in reading and wrap the services around them as early as kindergarten,” Spencer said.
Originally, part of the act was to hold back any 3rd-grade student, not at a proficient reading level, but that portion of the act has been delayed until the 2023-24 school year.
You can find a link to the full study here.
Copyright 2022 WAFF. All rights reserved.