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STRIVING READERS UPDATE: Eligibility Criteria Expanded, Additional Q&A Sessions Planned

On September 30, the U.S. Department of Education modified the eligibility criteria for the Striving Readers program so state education agencies are eligible to apply for the program on behalf of one or more eligible school districts. It also made clarifications about the grades that must be targeted and students who must be served by the program’s school-level and targeted-intervention components. More information is available on the department’s Striving Readers website, linked below.

In addition, because of very high interest in the Striving Readers program, the U.S. Department of Education will be holding additional question-and-answer sessions on the grant applications process. Although the sessions will not include overview presentations by department officials, they will allow potential applicants to ask questions of Striving Readers officials in an open forum about the application, requirements, procedures, and deadlines.

In order to participate in a meeting, call the toll-free number associated with the meeting time and date listed below. You will be asked to provide the program name (Striving Readers) or chairperson (Kathryn Doherty) and the associated confirmation number to be connected to the conference call. The calls are first come, first serve, and the department asks that you do not attempt to call and make reservations ahead of time.

Date and Time of Call Phone Number Confirmation Number
Thursday, October 6 @ 11:00 am EST 800-682-5640 44660628
Thursday, October 13 @ 1:00 pm EST 800-682-5640 44660629


The U.S. Department of Education has also indicated that the notice of intent to apply for a Striving Readers literacy grant deadline of September 14 is not binding; therefore, local education agencies have until November 14 to submit applications.

Questions and answers from past conference calls are posted under “Frequently Asked Questions” on the department’s website at


1 – According to the OECD report, “the development of modern ‘knowledge economies’ reflects a move from an economy based on land, labor, and capital to one in which the main component of production is information and knowledge. The most effective economies are those with the largest production of information and knowledge and in which they are easily accessible to the greatest number of individuals and enterprises.”

2 – In calculating its graduation rate, the OECD report relies on data obtained from a question on the Current Population Survey (CPS), which asks about the highest level of education completed and makes it susceptible to an individual’s interpretation or outright lying. The CPS also includes GED recipients with regular high school graduates and does not include individuals who are in prison, a large percentage of whom are high school dropouts.

3 – The OECD report analyzed thirty countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.