November 10, 2004 Extra Credit
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November 10, 2004

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November 9
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$2.75 Billion; 85,000 Teachers Trained; and
1.4 Million Students Impacted (and Counting)

No Child Left Behind’s Reading First program is the largest – and yet most focused – early reading initiative this country has ever undertaken. Reading First provides an opportunity for every state to implement reading programs based on scientifically based reading research, which help to ensure that all students learn to read well by the end of third grade. Although the implementation of Reading First is in its early stages, its impact is already being felt across the country.

Here are some examples of the progress of Reading First:
  • 55 state educational agencies – including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Bureau of Indian Affairs -- are participating in Reading First. To date, these SEAs have received over $2.75 billion in Reading First grants. Over the six years of the program, states will receive over $6 billion to improve reading instruction through the application of scientifically based reading research. This represents a three-fold increase over funding for reading initiatives prior to the enactment of No Child Left Behind.

  • 4,332 schools in 1,262 districts have received Reading First subgrants. These subgrants support the implementation of scientifically based instructional programs and materials; valid and reliable instructional assessments; increased professional development for teachers; and statewide accountability and leadership structures.

  • Reading First is improving reading instruction and raising student achievement for more than 1.4 million K-3 students. Effective early reading instruction can prevent the difficulties that too many of our students, especially disadvantaged students, now face. The progress of students in Reading First classrooms is closely monitored, so that immediate intervention can prevent students from falling behind.

  • Reading First is providing professional development to more than 85,000 K-3 teachers, ensuring that all teachers, including special education teachers, have the skills they need to teach reading and monitor student progress effectively in Reading First classrooms. In addition, states will provide training to all K-3 teachers in scientifically based reading instruction.


About Extra Credit
NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 11/12/2004