Literacy in Michigan

 

Literacy in Michigan

What:

Literacy is a foundational skill for learning. Michigan has identified early literacy gaps as a focus area for policy and program support for learners, and established a set of initial support mechanisms to address literacy needs and learning gaps.

Why this is important:

State funding has been appropriated to support specific recommendations to ensure that every child can read by grade three and is on track for literacy success. These include:

  1. Added instructional time grants that support districts in providing additional targeted supports for students who struggle in reading and other literacy skills;
  2. ISD literacy coaches, who provide direct assistance to school districts and public school academies to address instructional needs to help these students;
  3. Assessment reimbursement grants to support districts in the use of benchmarks, screening, and diagnostic tools to help identify specific student needs, so that they can receive targeted support; and
  4. Professional learning funds that supported the creation of a literacy coach network, an administrator literacy leader network, and resources for educators to learn and implement best practices to support all students, as well as students with specialized literacy learning needs, including English Learners, students with disabilities, and other students who may struggle to demonstrate these skills.

How you can engage your district:

Several organizations have partnered with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to provide a consistent, coherent support infrastructure so all literacy efforts are focused on the same goals. MDE served in a leadership role on the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators - General Education Leadership Network Early Literacy Task Force to develop a continuum of "Essential instructional practices in literacy" that span from ages birth to Grade 12.

Encourage educators in your district to review the instructional practices in literacy available on LiteracyEssentials.org and engage in the learning modules available on the website.

Learn more about Michigan literacy efforts to help build an effective literacy system which include:

  1. The responses to Frequently Asked Questions of the "Read by Grade Three" law;
  2. The Early Literacy Coaching Model to support ISDs and districts to implement research-supported literacy professional learning practices and define the role of an early literacy coach;
  3. A comprehensive literacy plan called Michigan’s Action Plan for Literacy Excellence (MAPLE);
  4. The Family Engagement Initiative to support educators of all students, including families, in literacy; and
  5. The collaborative effort with the Michigan PreK-12 Literacy Commission as an advisory committee and partner in messaging about the components of the Read by Grade Three legislation with communities and families.

Literacy is a 2018-19 goal of MDE and supports and guidance on literacy will continue to expand.