A new poll surveying Republican voters released by Alabama Daily News on the U.S. Senate Race and other statewide issues, including education, revealed that 80.7% of respondents support the Alabama Literacy Act – with almost 60% strongly supporting the act.
What is the Alabama Literacy Act?
Passed in 2019, the Alabama Literacy Act requires that all Alabama students be able to read on grade level by the end of 3rd grade. The act requires more alignment in state leadership around prioritizing early literacy for students – a skill that is fundamental to success in school and life.
Here are the major tenets of the bill:
- Renewed focus on pre-k to third-grade reading
- Targeted funding and resources to improve reading instruction, including training in the science of reading for teachers
- More reading coaches for our highest-need schools
- Stronger teacher preparation in college to ensure new teachers are prepared for science-based reading instruction
- Early identification and additional support for students with dyslexia and other specific needs
- Multiple opportunities for students to display their reading skills through both assessments and a student reading portfolio
- Last-resort retention for students who need extra time to catch up to their peers, which begins in the 2021-22 school year
Why is this law important for students?
Research shows that students who cannot read on grade level by fourth grade have little to no chance of graduating. Socially promoting students sets them up to fall further behind in other subjects, like math, which requires more word problems as students advance. A 2017 Harvard study showed students retained in the third grade under a similar Florida law performed better than their peers in middle school, had higher GPAs in high school, and took fewer remedial courses.
The impact of the pandemic on students requires us to focus even more on literacy right now. Students need every support the Alabama Literacy Act provides. It assesses where students are. It provides interventions to help struggling readers as early as problems are identified. It trains teachers in the science of reading. It gives parents clear guidance on where their children have needs and how those needs are being addressed. Finally, it stops the practice of passing students along without the basic skills they need to succeed in school and the workforce.
How you can support the Alabama Literacy Act
- Contact your legislator and let them know that you support Alabama’s students and the support that the Alabama Literacy Act provides them. Click here to find your legislator.
- Keep in contact with your child’s school and teachers to ensure that your child is receiving the support they need.
- Keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. We will also continue sending our weekly education news round-up, The Gist, every Friday morning with updates about the implementation of the act.