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Minnesota Invests $70 Million in the Science of Reading as Literacy Scores Decline



Minnesota Invests  Million in the Science of Reading as Literacy Scores Decline
Minnesota Invests  Million in the Science of Reading as Literacy Scores Decline

Last Updated on August 25, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

Title: Minnesota Takes Action to Restore Reading Proficiency for K-3 Students

Word count: 367

Reading proficiency scores in Minnesota have plummeted below 50%, with a staggering decline of nearly 10% since the onset of the pandemic. In response to this distressing situation, the bipartisan READ Act was recently enacted to address the issue head-on. The state has allocated $70 million to bolster literacy assessments for K-3 students, provide re-training for educators, and reimburse schools for new reading curriculum.

Experts have identified a lack of consistent exposure to phonics as a major obstacle in children’s reading development. Recognizing this, the Roseville Area Schools in Minnesota has taken the initiative to invest in a new curriculum that emphasizes the “Science of Reading” approach. This curriculum places a notable emphasis on phonics and comprehension, providing students with the fundamental tools needed for successful reading.

In the past, teaching methods focused on context clues and guessing words without sounding them out have proven to be ineffective. Consequently, re-training teachers on the “Science of Reading” approach is regarded as a necessary step, albeit a significant undertaking for schools. Roseville, being at the forefront of implementing this new approach, has already experienced positive results in kindergarten and first-grade classrooms.

However, experts warn that any significant changes in reading scores across the state may take three to five years to materialize. While the journey towards improved reading proficiency may seem lengthy, the READ Act offers a glimmer of hope. With the allocation of funds for teacher training and curriculum reimbursement, Minnesota schools are committed to enhancing their reading instruction methods.

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One key aspect of this endeavor is the creation of a final list of approved curriculum providers, which is set to be determined in January. Many districts throughout Minnesota are awaiting this list before purchasing new curriculum materials. The selection of approved providers ensures that schools invest in high-quality resources aligned with the “Science of Reading” philosophy.

Minnesota’s commitment to addressing the decline in reading proficiency is a significant step in the right direction. By investing in literacy assessment improvements, teacher re-training, and innovative curriculum, the state is paving the way for a brighter future for its young learners. With ongoing efforts and a collective focus on the “Science of Reading” philosophy, Minnesota aims to reverse the declining trend and see an increase in reading proficiency among K-3 students in the years to come.

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