Arkansas has implemented several literacy policies to promote and enhance literacy skills among its residents. The state recognizes the importance of literacy as a fundamental skill for educational success and overall well-being.
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) plays a significant role in shaping literacy policies and initiatives across the state. Here are some key components of literacy policies in Arkansas:
Arkansas Literacy Act: The Arkansas Literacy Act, also known as Act 1063, is a comprehensive legislation passed in 2017. This act focuses on improving literacy instruction and outcomes for students in kindergarten through third grade. It emphasizes the importance of early identification of struggling readers and the provision of targeted interventions.
Dyslexia Screening and Support: Arkansas has specific guidelines for the identification and support of students with dyslexia. Schools are required to conduct dyslexia screenings for students in certain grade levels to identify those who may need additional assistance. Additionally, the state provides resources and professional development opportunities for educators to improve their understanding of dyslexia and implement evidence-based instructional strategies.
Literacy Professional Development: Arkansas invests in professional development for educators to enhance their instructional practices in literacy. The state offers workshops, training programs, and resources to support teachers in implementing evidence-based strategies for teaching reading, writing, and comprehension skills.
State Standards: Arkansas has established state standards for English language arts (ELA) that outline the knowledge and skills students should acquire at each grade level. These standards provide a framework for schools to design curriculum and instruction that align with best practices in literacy education.
Family and Community Engagement: Arkansas recognizes the importance of involving families and communities in promoting literacy. The state encourages collaboration between schools, families, and community organizations to create a supportive literacy environment. Initiatives such as family literacy programs and partnerships with local libraries aim to engage families in supporting children's literacy development.
Arkansas Student Score Gaps:
This represents no significant change from the state’s 2019 average score.
In 2022, Black students had an average score that was 33 points lower than that of White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (32 points).
In 2022, Hispanic students had an average score that was 20 points lower than that of White students. Data are not reported for Hispanic students in 1998, because reporting standards were not met.
In 2022, male students in Arkansas had an average score that was lower than that of female students by 9 points.
In 2022, students who were eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) had an average score that was 34 points lower than that for students who were not eligible. This performance gap was wider than that in 1998 (25 points).
Information from the NAEP website for 2022 4th grade reading scores.
AR EVIDENCE-BASED CHAMPIONS
AR EVIDENCE-BASED ORGANIZATIONS
These organizations are committed to promoting evidence-based reading practices, providing professional development opportunities for educators, and supporting students in developing strong reading skills.
International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL)
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)
Arkansas Reading Association (ARA)