Yesterday, something truly historic occurred. Nine years after Alaska Policy Forum began calling attention to our state’s poor student outcomes, and proposed adopting “the Florida reading reforms” as a remedy, legislators have finally passed Read by Nine legislation. The governor is expected to sign the bill. This is a major win for Alaska students and their families!
As repeatedly documented in APF research and presented as testimony to the legislature year after year, this robust reading policy will bring the same reforms to our state that took Mississippi students from 45th in the country to ranking in the top five in only six short years. Designed to ensure that our children learn to read by the age of nine, the policy reforms will allow students to flourish in school and the world at large. This initiative will help all students, but particularly those who need the most assistance with reading. Strong literacy skills lead to confident children and capable adults who contribute to our great state.
The success of our children is absolutely worth the work that will now be required by parents, teachers, and administrators to make this a successful program.
Alaska Policy Forum celebrates this long-fought battle with high praise for the many champions who worked alongside us through the years: APF Senior Education Research Fellow and State Board of Education Member Bob Griffin; Senators Tom Begich, Shelley Hughes, and Roger Holland; Representatives Chris Tuck and Mike Cronk; Governor Mike Dunleavy; Commissioner Michael Johnson of the Department of Education and Early Development; and many staff at The Foundation for Excellence in Education.