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Going to Scale: Comprehensive Birth-Through-Grade-Twelve State Literacy Plans


Melissa Colsman, Executive Director, Teaching and Learning Unit,
Colorado Department of Education
Mariana Haynes, PhD, Senior Fellow, Alliance for Excellent Education
Jill Slack, PhD, Director, Literacy Office, Louisiana Department of Education

More than ever, students need advanced literacy skills to succeed in a knowledge-based global economy. Unfortunately, the majority of students leave high school without the necessary reading and writing skills needed to succeed in college and a career. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), more than 60 percent of middle and high school students scored below the proficient level in reading achievement. In fact, the literacy performance of seventeen-year-olds on NAEP has remained flat for four decades.

In the face of this literacy crisis, the majority of states have taken important steps to dramatically improve the reading and writing skills of students in the United States. With federal support through the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program, states have put into place literacy teams to develop comprehensive birth-through-grade-twelve systems for literacy development and education. It is critical that states receive continued federal support that will enable full implementation of high-quality initiatives that can advance the literacy skills of all students across the grade spans.

On Thursday, January 5 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., ET, the Alliance for Excellent Education will host a webinar featuring state directors of comprehensive systems for birth-through-grade-twelve literacy development and education—Melissa Colsman from the Colorado Department of Education and Jill Slack from the Louisiana Department of Education.

These experts will provide an overview of the key elements of the state literacy plans and discuss how states are positioning literacy as the linchpin of secondary reforms to prepare all students for college and a career. Alliance for Excellent Education Senior Fellow Mariana Haynes will moderate the discussion and field questions from webinar viewers across the country.

Supplemental Materials:


For additional information on adolescent literacy, please see some of these publications and reports from the Alliance for Excellent Education:

For additional information on the SRCL Center for Technical Assistance discussed in this webinar, please see below:

The SRCL Center for Technical Assistance provides cross-state technical assistance to states awarded formula and discretionary grants in program implementation, leadership, data collection, assessments and evaluation, response to intervention, professional development, teacher preparation, technology, and instructional coaching. The Center includes Miko Group, Inc.; the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics (TIMES) at the University of Houston; and the University of Oklahoma.

For more information on the SRL Center for Technical Assistance, please contact the following personnel:

For additional information on Louisiana’s Comprehensive Literacy Plan, click here.


This event is made possible with support from

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