NC CEOs Launch 3rd Grade Reading Initiative

Led by SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, North Carolina business leaders are advocating for new policies to increase third grade reading proficiency in North Carolina. Joining Goodnight at the release of a new report from the Business Roundtable was:

  • Venessa Harrison, President, AT&T North Carolina
  • Dale Jenkins, CEO, Medical Mutual Insurance Company of North Carolina
  • Mike Lamach, CEO, Ingersoll Rand
  • Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America, N.A.
  • Tom Nelson, CEO, National Gypsum Company
  • Jim Whitehurst, CEO, Red Hat, Inc.

The CEOs are recommending that North Carolina policymakers take the following three actions:

  1. Implement a comprehensive, coordinated system that ensures accountability and alignment of birth through age 8 programs that put children on the pathway to grade-level reading.
  2. Develop connected data systems that track children’s progress and allow for early interventions to keep them progressing toward third-grade literacy.
  3. Expand access to NC Pre-K to give greater numbers of children an opportunity to achieve reading proficiency by third grade.

The recommendation on data systems calls out NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading by name.

“To know how well students are doing from birth through third grade requires an understanding of multiple indicators impacting early literacy. The most critical of those indicators have been identified by the NC Path- ways to Grade Level Reading initiative. Those indicators – and any other relevant data – should be collected, managed and analyzed as part of a secure, connected system designed to increase third-grade reading proficiency.”

The announcement was part of the national release of a new report from the Business Roundtable, “Why Reading Matters and What To Do About It.” Business leaders from across the country are committed to increasing third-grade literacy as a major step in reversing the “skills gap” and in developing a workforce prepared to succeed in a global economy. Goodnight led BRT’s CEO task force that developed the national report.

Download the North Carolina policy recommendations.

Download the Business Roundtable report.

Download the infographic.

Download bios of the NC CEOs.