A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

U.S. Department of Education FY 1999 Annual Plan - February 27, 1998

America Reads Challenge


America Reads Challenge (prop. leg.) -- $210,000,000
Goal: All children read well and independently by the end of the third grade.
Objectives Indicators Source and Next Update Strategies
1. Improve student achievement in reading. 1.1 Student achievement. Increasing percentages of fourth- graders will score at or above the basic level in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). In 1994 the baseline was 60 %.

1.2 International assessment. Reading scores of fourth-graders continue to rank within the top 5 countries in the world.

1.1 National Assessment of Educational Progress, 1998.

1.2 International Association for the Evaluation of Education Achievement (IEA) Reading Literacy Study, 1998.

• Strengthen opportunities for children from birth through age 5 to build literacy skills by working with families, caregivers, and communities.

• Promote improvement of teacher preparation in elementary school reading and link school curricula to high standards in reading.

• Distribute Checkpoints for Progress in Reading widely to provide a benchmark for reading skills.

• Promote and support increased family and community involvement in America Reads Challenge (ARC): Read*Write*Now (RWN) and other community-based reading programs.

• Support the development of a National Voluntary Test in reading. Encourage support among urban school districts.

2. Build the capacity of states and communities to provide community reading tutoring programs for children from birth through elementary school. 2.1 America Reads Challenge (ARC) legislation. Proposed legislation will be passed and funded.

2.2 Community coalitions. By the summer of 1998, all 50 states will have ARC:RWN pilot sites (at least one per state) that are linked to empowerment zones and enterprise communities and supported by a coalition of community sponsors. In FY 1997 the baseline was 14 sites.

2.3 Volunteer tutors. One million volunteer tutors are trained and mobilized to work in community reading programs by 2002, through ARC:RWN programs, College Work Study, and Corporation for National Service programs.

2.4 Reading children. By 2002, 3 million children will participate in ARC:RWN.

2.5 Early Childhood. ARC-proposed legislation that includes a focus on early childhood and family literacy will be passed. Community early childhood programs such as Even Start and Head Start will be linked to community-based reading programs.

2.1 Department information, 1997-98.

2.2 Department information, 1998.

2.3 Department and Corporation for National Service records, 2002; America Reads Challenge: RWN Evaluation, 1998-2002.

2.4 Department records, 2002; America Reads Challenge: RWN Evaluation, 1998-2002.

2.5 Department information, 1998; Head Start and Even Start Evaluations, 1998-2002.

• Work with Congress to obtain authorizing language for ARC by FY 1998.

• Strengthen the Department's programs to provide in-class reading instruction with upgraded standards and curriculum through elementary school.

• Encourage development of at least one ARC:RWN site per state for FY 1998.

• Distribute through the World Wide Web (WWW) and other means Simple Things You Can Do and other community guides.

• Work with the Corporation for National Service and CollegeWork-Study Program to coordinate tutoring programs with ARC:RWN community efforts.

• Enlist more colleges and universities into the ARC College Work-Study initiative.

• Encourage the ARC:RWN Sponsors Group to expand their involvement in the ARC:RWN community efforts.

• Encourage federal early childhood programs to link with community coalitions.

3. Promote excellence in the teaching of reading in schools, and links between reading teachers and community reading efforts. 3.1 Improved teacher preparation. Increasing percentages of teachers of kindergarten through third grade will complete high-quality, intensive professional development in reading.

3.2 Teachers' knowledge of children's reading skills needed. Publications such as the ARC:RWN publication, Checkpoints for Progress for Teachers will be disseminated to encourage higher standards in the teaching of reading.

3.3 ARC legislation. The ARC legislation passed by Congress will include funding to support reading specialists.

3.1 Longitudinal Survey of Schools, 1998; Schools and Staffing Surveys, 1999 (Need to add new data element; none currently exists for reading.)

3.2 Department information, 1998

3.3 Department information, 1998

• Strengthen the Department's existing programs that provide support for personnel preparation to provide improved preservice and inservice professional development for preschool and school staff.

• Disseminate through the WWW high-quality materials for teachers, such as Checkpoints for Progress for Teachers, to improve the teaching and learning of reading.

4. Help ensure high-performance school and community reading/ tutoring programs by conducting reading and tutoring research and evaluations, disseminating best practices, and providing technical assistance. 4.1 ARC legislation. The ARC legislation passed by Congress will include funding to support dissemination of best practices, technical assistance, and evaluations.

4.2 School curricula aligned with standards. Increasing numbers of teachers will report using curricula aligned with high standards in English.

4.3 Read*Write*Now! and other materials. High-quality Read*Write*Now!and other materials will be disseminated through the WWW.

4.4 Information on best practices. Information on best practices in reading, tutor training, and tutoring will be provided to improve practice.

4.5 Research and evaluation. Research and evaluations on reading will be conducted to fill the gaps and provide state-of-the-art information.

4.1 Department information, 1998.

4.2 Baseline Survey of Schools, 1996.

4.3 Follow-up Survey of Schools, 1997.

4.4 Longitudinal Survey of Schools, 1998.

4.5 America Reads Challenge: RWN Evaluation, 1998-2002.

• Encourage alignment of school curriculums in reading with high state and local standards.

• Disseminate through the WWW high quality research-based materials for children, tutors, and caregivers.

• Support state-of-the-art research through the new reading center, grant competitions, and other programs throughout the Department to develop, disseminate, and encourage the use of the most promising approaches to reading instruction and tutoring.

• Through evaluation studies and support to improve state and local performance data systems, provide useful information on how states and communities are doing in improving children's reading.

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