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Virginia 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 Virginia Standards of Learning, which outlines the skills and knowledge that students need to develop in order to be successful readers, including phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Virginia 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 Virginia Literacy Institute to provide guidance and support to educators and promote evidence-based literacy practices.

Virginia uses a statewide assessment, the Standards of Learning (SOL) test, 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 Virginia Department of Education also partners with local organizations and agencies to promote literacy development through initiatives such as the Virginia Literacy Institute's Professional Development, the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, and the Virginia Family Engagement Network. These programs aim to support literacy development among students and families, particularly those in low-income communities. Additionally, the state has established the Virginia Reads One Book initiative, which focuses on promoting early literacy development among young children in the state through community-wide reading events.

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Virginia Student Score Gaps:

  • This represents a decline from the 2019 percentage of 4th grade students not reading at the proficient level which was 62%.

  • In 2022, Black students had an average score that was 29 points lower than that of White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (27 points).

  • In 2022, Hispanic students had an average score that was 30 points lower than that of White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (18 points).

  • In 2022, male students in Virginia had an average score that was lower than that of female students by 13 points.

  • In 2022, students who were eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) had an average score that was 37 points lower than that for students who were not eligible. This performance gap was wider than that in 1998 (27 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.

Virginia Department of Education

Virginia State Reading Association

Virginia Literacy Foundation

Virginia Association for the Gifted

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