The New York Campaign
for Early Literacy

An initiative of The Education Trust–New York

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

Literacy is a civil and human right.

Yet, New York State is facing an early literacy crisis.

37 out of 50

New York State ranks 37th in the nation in 4th-grade reading, trailing behind the rest of the nation.

Only 35 %

of Black and Latinx students scored proficient of those tested on the 2022-23 ELA state assessment.
About the Campaign
All children can learn to read by the end of third grade with evidence-based instruction and holistic support inside and outside of school, beginning at birth. 

However, New York is one of five states yet to enact any laws related to the science of reading, a vast body of scientifically based research on how children learn to read. While there has been considerable progress toward alignment of instructional practice and policy with the science of reading across the state, more can be done to improve student early literacy outcomes.

The New York Campaign for Early Literacy is a statewide movement to improve student reading outcomes through evidence-based instruction aligned with the science of reading.

What New York State can do

Incentivize districts to implement evidence-based instruction

Provide funding for professional learning and microcredentials aligned with the science of reading

Increase public transparency around what literacy curricula schools are using

“The first 3 years of life, when the brain is developing and maturing, is the most intensive period for acquiring speech and language skills.”
-Speech and Language Developmental Milestones. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

“We keep pushing kids ahead without the reading skills and expect them to get better without an explicit and systematic phonics program. It is a huge disservice to our students.”
-3rd and 4th grade teacher

“In elementary school and early middle school when you need help with reading and comprehension skills, it is more accessible to you. But as you grow up and go to high school and college, it becomes your responsibility to know those things.”
-New York City high school student

Meet the Campaign Members
Members from the New York Campaign for Early Literacy span across the state and represent a variety of sectors.
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