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U.S. Education Policy and No Child Left Behind: Links

Here you’ll find a brief description of the terminology and provisions of the No Child Left Behind legislation. Also included are links to helpful resources from other groups.

Reading First, Early Reading First, and Striving Readers

No Child Left Behind, the education reform plan signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002, includes two federal reading programs:

  • Reading First is intended to ensure that more children receive effective reading instruction in the early grades. Funds are dedicated to help states and local school districts establish high-quality programs in kindergarten through grade 3.
  • Early Reading First was created to address the concern that many children begin school without the foundation to benefit fully from formal instruction. Early childhood centers of excellence will prepare children to enter kindergarten with the necessary language, cognitive, and early reading skills for success.
  • A related measure geared toward older students, the Striving Readers initiative, offers grants to develop, implement, and evaluate effective reading interventions for middle or high school students whose reading is significantly below grade level.
  • Summary of the Striving Readers initiative
  • First Striving Readers grants awarded

Accountability, assessment, and adequate yearly progress

Under NCLB, schools and school districts are held accountable for the adequate yearly progress (AYP) of all students and subgroups of students toward meeting state-defined standards of academic proficiency. Student progress and achievement are measured by state assessments designed to match those standards and given to every child, every year. To ensure that schools are equipped to help students make the required progress, the act makes funds available to help teachers strengthen current skills and gain new ones in effective reading instructional techniques.

Scientifically based reading instruction

Funding under NCLB is targeted to support programs and teaching methods that are proven to increase student learning and achievement. In the case of reading, the act “supports scientifically based reading instruction programs in the early grades under Reading First and in preschool under Early Reading First.”

Links to NCLB information

U.S. government

Other organizations

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