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District Of Columbia

The District of Columbia (D.C.) has implemented several literacy policies aimed at improving reading proficiency among its students. The district's approach to literacy education focuses on evidence-based instruction, early intervention, and support for struggling readers. One key policy is the D.C. Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, which outline the skills and knowledge that students need to develop in order to be successful readers, including phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

D.C. provides training and support for educators in evidence-based literacy practices, such as balanced literacy instruction, explicit instruction in foundational skills, and the use of data to inform instruction. The district has established the Office of Teaching and Learning's Literacy Leadership Team to provide guidance and support to educators and promote evidence-based literacy practices.

D.C. uses various assessments, including the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment and the D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS), to monitor student progress in reading and identify areas where additional support is needed. The district's Response to Intervention (RTI) framework provides a systematic approach to identifying and supporting struggling readers, with tiered levels of intervention based on student needs.

The D.C. Public Schools also partner with local organizations and agencies to promote literacy development through initiatives such as the D.C. Literacy Lab and the D.C. Early Literacy Initiative. These programs aim to support literacy development among students and families, particularly those in low-income communities. Additionally, the district has established the D.C. Early Learning Standards, which focuses on promoting early literacy development among young children in the district.

State Graphs DC.png

District Of Columbia Student Score Gaps:

  • This represents a decline from the 2019 percentage of 4th grade students not reading at the proficient level which was 70%.

  • In 2022, Black students had an average score that was 69 points lower than that for White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (72 points).

  • In 2022, Hispanic students had an average score that was 60 points lower than that for White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (74 points).

  • In 2022, male students in District of Columbia had an average score that was lower than that for female students by 8 points.

  • In 2022, students who were eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) had an average score that was 56 points lower than that for students who were not eligible. This performance gap was wider than that in 1998 (42 points).

Information from the  NAEP website for 2022 4th grade reading scores.



These organizations are committed to promoting evidence-based reading practices, providing professional development opportunities for educators, and supporting students in developing strong reading skills.

District of Columbia Public Schools


DC Department of Education 

The Reading League - Washington, DC 

Decoding Dyslexia - Washington DC 


The International Dyslexia Association - DC Branch 

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