The Iowa Department of Education released a new policy brief detailing the amazing progress the state is making addressing early literacy. In Iowa, reading assessment scores were stagnant for years, and nearly one in four Iowa students is not proficient in reading. This lead to the legislation being passed which encompassed a comprehensive literacy law in 2012 that focuses on ensuring all students are proficient readers by the end of third grade.
Iowa developed an early warning system for literacy which is designed to help educators identify and intervene with students in kindergarten through the third grade who are at risk for reading difficulties. The system was fully implemented in 2014 and includes screening the reading skills of all K-3 students three times a year, providing additional reading instruction to children who need it, and monitoring their process.
This work is yielding some terrific results! 8,923 children went from missing to meeting or exceeding benchmarks during the school year and top district performers saw increases up to 32.2 percentage points. With results like these, it's easy to see how much progress Iowa is making.
For more detailed information on Iowa's efforts, take a look at their 2-page policy brief. It details their progress, what the early warning system is, and how it was implemented.