Why should we care about awesome literacy instruction?

I’ve been in the field of literacy for over sixteen years — first as a teacher then as a teacher educator and researcher and now as a consultant focused on supporting teachers and school leaders to enact high quality literacy instruction in their schools. Literacy is a civil right — and high quality instruction in schools is one pathway towards ensuring that students are supported in being skillful readers and writers.

OpenLiteracy’s mission is to make knowledge about best practices in reading and writing instruction accessible to everyone. The work of teaching reading and writing well – and ensuring that all children have access to amazing instruction -- is totally doable. And yet…..

In the United States, forty-two percent of school-aged children struggle to advance beyond basic levels of reading comprehension. The statistics are even more alarming in the area of writing. While most students learn to decode text and identify main ideas, many never advance beyond basic levels of comprehension and fail to use writing effectively in even basic communication. Students of color and children living in poverty are disproportionately represented within the lowest levels of reading and writing ability, as demonstrated by the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) tests.

There is an abundance of knowledge about best practices in reading and writing. Let’s work to make that knowledge accessible to all.