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Arizona State Literacy Plan. Arizona Department of Education Joanie Judd Bette Lovelace Director of K-12 ELA Education Program Specialist Context for the State Literacy Plan.

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arizona state literacy plan

Arizona State Literacy Plan

Arizona Department of Education

Joanie Judd Bette Lovelace

Director of K-12 ELA Education Program Specialist

context for the state literacy plan
Context for the State Literacy Plan

First and foremost, we must recognize that we are a literacy-driven society. In the simplest of terms, across the span of our history, we have sought to understand each other and in turn, be understood. Effective communication has always propelled change foreword at the personal, community and world levels. All Arizona stakeholders need to have a sense of purpose and responsibility in raising up literate young adults.

literacy counts
Literacy Counts

“Adolescents entering the adult world of the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens and conduct their personal lives.”

Richard Vacca

contemporary literacy
Contemporary Literacy
  • Essential Big 6 Skills for the 21st Century
    • Task definition
      • Define and identify information needed
    • Information seeking strategies
      • Determine range and evaluate different possible sources
    • Location and access
      • Locate and find information within sources
    • Use of information
      • engage and extract important information
    • Synthesis
      • Organize and present information
    • Evaluation
      • Judge the effectiveness and efficiency of the problem solving process
u s department of justice
U.S. Department of Justice

“The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence and crime is welded to reading failure.”

rising literacy demands
Rising Literacy Demands
  • 25 fastest growing professions have far greater than average literacy demands
  • 25 fastest declining professions have lower than average literacy demands
  • Approximately 70% of new jobs will require post secondary education
arizona s state literacy plan
Arizona’s State Literacy Plan
  • Initial impetus
    • Federal Striving Readers formula grant
  • Multiple state-wide literacy projects and programs
    • First Things First and K-12 system
  • Adoption of the 2010 Arizona English Language Arts Standards (Common Core)
    • Aligned assessments in 2014-15
the charge
The Charge
  • Convene a State Literacy Team representing diverse expertise
  • Develop a birth through grade 12 literacy plan
  • Establish a communication and implementation plan of action
the foundation
The Foundation
  • 10 shared belief statements
  • State statutes and State Board policies
  • 2010 Arizona ELA Standards (Common Core)
  • Essential components of effective reading instruction
  • Current evidence based literacy research
  • Culture of collaboration
belief statements
Belief Statements
  • The foundation for lifelong literacy skills begins in infancy.
  • Literacy is the most important skill learners acquire that will benefit them throughout life
  • A student’s rate of growth is related to the quality of instruction and support students experience.
  • Establishing a collaborative system among education and health professionals, family and community is essential to improved student literacy achievement.
  • An integrated system of delivery of instruction provides for high quality learning experiences based on Arizona’s Standards for all learners
belief statements continued
Belief Statements Continued
  • Intervention that is matched to learners’ academic, social-emotional and behavioral needs is essential.
  • Continuous collection and use of valid and reliable benchmark, progress monitoring and diagnostic literacy data informs and promotes decision making.
  • Purposeful, direct, explicit and systematic instruction and evidence based effective practices across the curriculum will support all learners in experiencing academic growth.
  • Student learning and motivation are enhanced by a connection to cultural experience and personal relevance.
  • Literacy instruction is supported by informed leadership consisting of parents, caregivers, community members, teachers, principals and district and state leaders.
the goal
The Goal
  • Arizona’s high school graduates will have developed a deep well of specific skills, content knowledge, and expertise that clearly demonstrates a fluid integration of oral language and literacy skills.
  • Ensure all essential stakeholders have a clear understanding of the process of developing language and literacy skills and recognize the part they have to play in this process
student achievement targets in reading
Student Achievement Targets in Reading
    • in 2020 - 93% of students meeting or exceeding State standards on the state assessment,
    • interim benchmark of 83% in 2014.
    • in 2020 - 93% of students meeting or exceeding State standards on the state assessment,
    • interim benchmark of 83% in 2014.
    • in 2021 - 87%, of students achieving at or above basic on the NAEP assessment
    • an interim benchmark of 77% in 2015.
    • in 2020 - 93% of students meeting or exceeding State standards on the state assessment
    • interim benchmark of 84% in 2014.
implementation of the plan
Implementation of the Plan
  • Ensures that instruction is:
    • Built on the foundation of sound research and evidence
    • Fully aligned to the language and literacy continuum
    • Fully aligned to Arizona’s Early Childhood Standards, 2010 English Language Arts Standards and the 2010 ELP Standards
    • Closely tied to intentional learning, data-driven instruction, and purposeful assessments
    • Addressing state statutes, and State Board policy
    • Mobilizing all stakeholders to fully support all learners from cradle to career in developing necessary literacy skills
essence of the state literacy plan
Essence of the State Literacy Plan
  • Creates a cohesive, seamless roadmap for all stakeholders
  • Outlines the stages of language and literacy development from birth through 12th grade
  • Provides guidance on the supportthat is required at all stages of growth to ensure learning is maximized
important considerations
Important considerations
  • What it takes to develop strong language and literacy skills
  • What reading and writing demands of our brains
  • What reading and writing contributes to our capacity to think, to feel, to infer, to understand ourselves and other human beings
  • Literacy is a neuronally and intellectually circuitous act
  • How to teach those whose brains are poised to acquire reading skills and those whose brains are organized differently
  • How to prepare learners so they are positioned to acquire the next new learning
definition of literacy
Definition of Literacy
  • Literacy is defined as the ability to effectively communicate in a wide variety of complex settings through:
      • The utilization of visual literacy
      • Perceptive thinking and listening skills
      • Articulate and fluent language and speaking skills
      • Proficient and comprehensive reading skills
      • Convincing ,powerful and compelling writing skills.
  • The integration of these language processes provides learners, in a continuum of development, the opportunity to think deeply while actively acquiring, constructing and expressing an understanding of the world around them.
components of the state literacy plan
Components of the State Literacy Plan
  • Arizona’s story
  • Literacy Framework
  • Common Structural Components
  • Implementation
  • References
  • Appendices
common structural components
Common Structural Components
  • Leadership
  • Direct and Explicit Instruction
  • Text Complexity
  • Rigor
  • Close Reading of Text
  • Assessment and Data Based Decisions
  • RTI and Interventions
  • At Risk Learners: ELL and Special Education students
  • Parent Engagement-Academic Parent Teacher Teams
  • Theory of Action
  • Stages of Implementation
  • Systems Models by Age and Grade Span
  • Parent Engagement Model
  • Professional Development
    • Online
    • Face-to-face
birth to age 5 language development
Birth to Age 5 Language Development
  • Young infants (birth - 6 months)
    • Listening, use of sounds, facial expressions, movement
  • Older infants (6 months – 18 months)
    • Deliberate actions, mimic, meaning of words
  • Toddlers (18 months – 36 months)
    • Receptive language increases, specific use, read alouds
  • Preschoolers (3 years – 5 years)
    • Enhanced language increases ability to think, reason and problem solve
grades k 5
Grades K - 5
  • Teaching children to read
    • Direct and explicit instruction
    • Code focused instruction – reading and writing
  • Vocabulary and comprehension
    • Receptive and expressive language
  • Rigorous instruction
  • Text complexity
  • Motivation
grades 6 8
Grades 6 - 8
  • Systematic delivery of standards
    • Text complexity
  • Instructional components
    • Vocabulary
    • Comprehension
    • Writing
    • Speaking and listening
  • Instructional practices
    • Increase explicit instruction in comprehension strategies
    • Increase amount/quality of sustained discussion
    • Set and maintain rigor in discussion, reading and writing
    • Use variety of practices to increase motivation/engagement
    • Teach essential content knowledge and vocabulary
grades 9 12
Grades 9 - 12
  • Direct, explicit, systematic instruction
  • Apply content and literacy knowledge in rigorous, authentic engaging situations
  • Instructional components
    • Reading
      • Fluency, vocabulary, background knowledge, comprehension, motivation
    • Writing
      • as a tool, product, process
    • Speaking and listening
      • Discussion and collaboration
    • Language
      • Vocabulary and conventions
    • Motivation and Cognitive Engagement
intervention systems
Intervention Systems
  • Response to Intervention
    • AZRTI
    • Multi-tiered system of instruction
  • English Language Learners
    • Program delivery in SEI classrooms
    • Instructional support for FEP students
  • Special Education
    • Infants and toddlers
    • Preschool
    • K-12
read and highlight important words or phrases
Read and Highlight Important Words or Phrases

“The most expensive burden we place on society is those students we have failed to teach to read well. The silent army of low readers who move through our schools, siphoning off the lion’s share of administrative resources, emerge into society as adults lacking the single prerequisite for managing their lives and acquiring additional training. They are chronically unemployed, underemployed, or unemployable. They form the single largest identifiable group of those whom we incarcerate, and to whom we provide assistance, housing, medical care, and other social services. They perpetuate and enlarge the problem by creating another generation of poor readers.”

Fielding, L., Kerr, N., & Rosier, P.

what is the present reality for our children
What is the present reality for our children?
  • 23% of children live in poverty in Arizona
    • Equates to 400,000 children
  • National average is 20%
  • Children in poverty are more likely to suffer
    • Academically
    • Economically
    • Socially
  • Host of barriers will dramatically impact their growth and development
impact of illiteracy
Impact of Illiteracy
  • Institute of Education Sciences’ 2003 Arizona study
        • Approximately 500,000 adults (16 years old +) do not have basic literacy skills
  • Nationally
        • 3 of 4 welfare receipts are illiterate
        • 70% of prison inmates cannot read beyond a 4th grade level
        • $73 billion in unnecessary medical expenses every year due to poor reading skills
  • Literacy is a community issue
    • Impacts individual’s capacity to contribute
    • Investment begins at birth
        • Health
        • Safety
        • Economics
        • Education
        • Citizen engagement
in our k 12 public school system
In our K-12 Public School System…
  • Elementary grades 3-8 Reading results (2011 AIMS)
    • All students – 488,882
      • 77% passed – 376,439 students
      • 23% failed - 112,442 students
in our k 12 public school system1
In our K-12 Public School System…
  • High School Reading results (2011 AIMS)
    • All students – 96,619
reading by 3 rd grade matters1
Reading by 3rd grade matters
  • A.R.S. 15-701 – potential 3rd grade retention of student falling far below grade level reading requirements

LEA’s must:

  • Provide information regarding the new law and the potential for student retention beginning in 2013-14 school year
  • Provide information to parents regarding:
      • Description of instructional services being provided
      • Description of available interventions
      • Description of strategies for parents to utilize to assist their child
      • Potential of retention at the conclusion of 3rd grade
      • Description of LEA policies on mid-year promotion
2010 english language arts standards
2010 English Language Arts Standards
  • Most significant impact on teaching and learning
    • Increased text complexity
    • Increased levels of comprehension
  • Depth of Knowledge levels
    • Recall and recognition
    • Application of skills/concepts
    • Strategic thinking
    • Extended thinking
key advances in new 2010 ela standards
Key Advances in new 2010 ELA Standards


  • Balance of literature and informational texts
  • Text complexity


  • Emphasis on argument and informative/explanatory writing
  • Writing about sources

Speaking and Listening

  • Inclusion of formal and informal talk


  • Stress on general academic and domain-specific vocabulary
key advances in new 2010 ela standards1
Key Advances in new 2010 ELA Standards
  • Standards for reading and writing in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects
    • Complement rather than replace content standards in those subjects
    • Responsibility of teachers in those subjects
  • Alignment with college and career readiness expectations
arizona high school graduation requirements
Arizona High School Graduation Requirements
  • In 2013 – Total 22 credits
    • 4 credits English
    • 4 credits Mathematics
    • 3 credits Science
    • 3 credits Social Studies
    • 1 credit CTE/Fine Art
    • 7 credits Electives
  • Arizona’s Graduation Rate – 78%
    • Approximately 18,000 students do not graduate
leadership in action
Leadership in Action

There is frequently a chasm between what we know to be the best action and what we do. The connecting tissue is often the courage to act.

Effective leaders act with heart. In the final analysis, their decisions are informed by judgment, but emanate from their core purpose, values, and intention. They act with a Courageous Leadership Imperative.

A. M. Blankstein

moving forward
Moving forward
  • Website: To access and provide feedback, please visit
  • Establish subcommittees
  • Input from public
  • Marketing
  • Establishing partnerships