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Illinois has implemented several literacy policies aimed at improving reading proficiency among its students. The state's approach to literacy education focuses on evidence-based instruction, early intervention, and support for struggling readers. One key policy is the Illinois Learning Standards for English Language Arts, which outlines the skills and knowledge that students need to develop in order to be successful readers, including phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Illinois provides training and support for educators in evidence-based literacy practices, such as balanced literacy instruction and the use of data to inform instruction. The state has established the Illinois State Board of Education's Literacy Center to provide guidance and support to educators and promote evidence-based literacy practices.

Illinois uses a statewide assessment, the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), to monitor student progress in reading and identify areas where additional support is needed. The state'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 Illinois State Board of Education also partners with local organizations and agencies to promote literacy development through initiatives such as the Illinois Reads program and the Illinois Early Learning Project. These programs aim to support literacy development among students and families, particularly those in low-income communities. Additionally, the state has established the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, which focuses on promoting early literacy development among young children in the state.

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Illinois Student Score Gaps:

  • This represents a decline from the 2019 percentage of 4th grade students not reading at the proficient level which was 63%.

  • Data was not reported for Black students in 2022, because reporting standards were not met.

  • In 2022, Hispanic students had an average score that was 16 points lower than that of White students. This performance gap was narrower than that in 2002 (27 points).

  • In 2022, male students in Idaho 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 23 points lower than that for students who were not eligible. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 2002 (19 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.

Illinois State Board of Education

Illinois Reading Council

Illinois Association of Teachers of English

The International Dyslexia Association - Illinois Branch

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