With high rates of high school dropouts, poverty and rural areas throughout the state, combined with a graduation rate below the national average, Louisiana recognizes a crucial and urgent need for high-quality literacy initiatives to address the learning needs of all students in prekindergarten through adult education. By improving the literacy rates of students and adults, Louisiana can develop a more literate and capable population to poise itself for future economic success.
The three main literacy initiatives in Louisiana are the K-12 Pilot Project, Ensuring Literacy For All (ELFA) program, and Reading First.
The main components of all literacy initiatives in Louisiana include:
- Explicit and systematic literacy instruction currently used in Louisiana;
- School-wide implementation with substantial support from the district;
- Frequent assessment of student performance and progress for early identification of struggling students;
- Intensive interventions targeted at student weaknesses;
- Extensive professional development and support for teachers, reinforced and revisited in job embedded sessions facilitated by school-based literacy coaches; and
- Effective leadership teams in schools and districts.
These components are intended to yield a school-wide system with a three-tiered instructional model, based on scientific reading research that employs ongoing assessments and extended time for reading instruction by high-quality teachers.