Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Core Standards, which outlines the skills and knowledge that students need to develop in order to be successful readers, including phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Literacy Network to provide guidance and support to educators and promote evidence-based literacy practices.
Pennsylvania uses a statewide assessment, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), 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 Pennsylvania Department of Education also partners with local organizations and agencies to promote literacy development through initiatives such as the Pennsylvania Family Literacy Program and the Pennsylvania Library Literacy Program. These programs aim to support literacy development among students and families, particularly those in low-income communities. Additionally, the state has established the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission, which focuses on promoting early literacy development among young children in the state.
Pennsylvania Student Score Gaps:
This represents a decline from the 2019 percentage of 4th grade students not reading at the proficient level which was 60%.
In 2022, Black students had an average score that was 32 points lower than that of White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 2002 (37 points).
In 2022, Hispanic students had an average score that was 23 points lower than that of White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 2002 (31 points).
In 2022, male students in Pennsylvania 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 31 points lower than that for students who were not eligible. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 2002 (32 points).
Information from the NAEP website for 2022 4th grade reading scores.
PA EVIDENCE-BASED CHAMPIONS
PA 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.
Pennsylvania Department of Education
Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association
Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts
Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Book Award
Pennsylvania Association for Reading and Language Arts