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Kentucky 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 Kentucky Academic 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.

Kentucky provides training and support for educators in evidence-based literacy practices, such as explicit instruction and the use of assessment data to inform instruction. The state has established the Kentucky Department of Education's Literacy Initiatives to provide guidance and support to educators and promote evidence-based literacy practices.

Kentucky uses a statewide assessment, the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP), 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 Kentucky Department of Education also partners with local organizations and agencies to promote literacy development through initiatives such as the Read to Achieve program and the Kentucky Early Childhood Standards. These programs aim to support literacy development among students and families, particularly those in low-income communities. Additionally, the state has established the Kentucky All STARS program, which focuses on promoting early literacy development among young children in the state.

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Kentucky Student Score Gaps:

  • This represents a decline from the 2019 percentage of 4th grade students not reading at the proficient level which was 65%.

  • In 2022, Black students had an average score that was 20 points lower than that of White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (21 points).

  • In 2022, Hispanic students had an average score that was 13 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 Kentucky had an average score that was not significantly different from that of female students.

  • In 2022, students who were eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) had an average score that was 26 points lower than that for students who were not eligible. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (21 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.

Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky Reading Association

Kentucky Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts


The International Dyslexia Association - Kentucky Branch

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