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AACTE and UFLI Invite Participation in Science of Reading Focus Group

Teacher reading to a group of young studentsAACTE in partnership with the University of Florida Literacy Institute (UFLI) invites faculty and in-service teachers to share their experiences relating to literacy development and effective reading instruction. In 2019, 35% of grade 4 and 34% of grade 8 students scored at or above proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a decline since 2017.  The longstanding reading achievement gap has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a growing number of states sounding the alarm on solutions to increase literacy development and reading proficiency in students.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have turned to pandemic relief funds to provide professional development to teachers on effective reading instruction. Research suggests that acquiring early literacy skills that include phonological awareness, fluency, and comprehension, positively impacts future academic success. It’s widely known that young children should begin developing these skills by kindergarten and solidify them by third grade. At least 20 states have also passed legislation or are considering legislation to strengthen teachers knowledge and instructional practices related literacy and reading instruction.

Given these recent state efforts, the lack of public understanding about the preparation of teachers to provide effective reading instruction, and the limited knowledge of the reading programs and methods employed by districts, AACTE has partnered with UFLI to learn more about these topics via focus groups with faculty of educator preparation programs (EPPs), and teachers. The findings from the focus groups will be used to highlight best practices and recommendations for EPPs, teachers, and state and district leaders.  

Sign-Up for one of the following focus groups:

Teacher Focus Group | Wednesday, April 13, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST
Register Now

Faculty Focus Group | Wednesday, April 20, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST
Register Now


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Weade James

Senior Director, Development and Research

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