Help DPI Define a Comprehensive Approach to Literacy as Whole Child and Cross-Sector

The NC Department of Public Instruction is inviting public comment on a proposed definition of high quality birth-through-12th-grade reading instruction. Do you think a comprehensive approach to B-12 literacy should include consideration of the whole-child Pathways Measures of Success? If so, now is your chance to let DPI know.

See below for some background from DPI, read NCECF’s short comment, and then share your own thoughts by visiting DPI’s survey.

From DPI:

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) convened a B-12 Literacy Team with cross-divisional/cross-area involvement to examine the alignment of policy, legislation, instructional practices, initiatives, and programs to support literacy in NC Public Schools. Subsequently, and in line with the focus to improve student reading proficiency in the early grades, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted a Collaborative Guiding Framework for Action on Early Reading. NCDPI is developing action steps for each of the priorities, including new or revised SBE policies, NCDPI initiatives using existing resources, and legislative recommendations, including both recommended statutory revisions and appropriations requests. 

The first action of the framework is to develop a definition of high quality reading instruction that is aligned with the National Reading Panel and current research to guide state policy and practice in reading, from Birth – 12th Grade. NCDPI has also held three regional stakeholder meetings to gather feedback on a working definition of high quality reading instruction. Stakeholder groups were comprised of Administrators, Advocacy Group Leaders, Faculty from Institutions of Higher Education, Practitioners, Parents, District and State Leadership, Organization Leaders, and Literacy Leaders.

From December 11, 2019 – January 11th, 2020, NCDPI is launching the Definition of High Quality Reading Instruction (Birth – 12th Grade) Survey for widescale public review. The survey results will inform the final state definition of high quality reading instruction, Birth – 12th Grade.

NCECF commented in response to the two survey questions:

Do you have any additional research that you feel is valuable to review? Please provide the citation and summary below.

The Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success Framework describes 50-60 whole child, cross-sector, birth-through-age-eight data measures that impact third grade reading outcomes. This report outlines the research connecting each of these measures to early literacy: https://files.buildthefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Measures-of-Success-Framework_FINAL.pdf

Research tells us that a comprehensive approach to literacy requires attention to this wide range of factors, as recognized by the General Assembly in 2016 and 2017 when the Pathways measures were included in legislation creating the B-3 Interagency Council. The State Board of Education has endorsed the Pathways measures as well.

Do you have any other comments or suggestions regarding this definition?

The explanation in the first paragraph of the statement describes a comprehensive approach to literacy instruction, rather than a comprehensive approach to literacy. A comprehensive approach to literacy would include consideration of the cross-sector factors that impact early literacy, including health, family and community, and education factors. (see research submitted in previous question)

An addition of a sentence would add this important concept: “A comprehensive approach to literacy requires attention to the whole child and family, as defined by the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success. Comprehensive literacy instruction encompasses reading, writing, speaking, listening and language and occurs in a safe, nurturing and culturally responsive environment…”

Share your own knowledge and expertise by responding to the survey. Survey closes January 11: 

Survey Link: https://ncdpi.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aUZP5pakex194aN