Alaska Reads Act Already Delivering for Students

In just two short years, the Alaska Reads Act is already getting results. Governor Dunleavy announced a data release showing significant improvement in Alaska’s early literacy benchmarks. Alaska Policy Forum has been a tireless champion for early literacy reforms like those in the Alaska Reads Act since 2013. Well-crafted policy based in the science of reading can — and already has — made a difference for students.

The Alaska Reads Act, signed into law in 2022, is designed to ensure that all children can read at grade level by the age of nine. After the third grade, it becomes increasingly difficult for students to catch up. The legislation requires teachers to use science-based methods to teach reading and provide targeted interventions to students who are falling behind on periodic screeners. The 2023-2024 school year marked the first year in which accountability requirements kicked in.

The Governor’s data speaks for itself:

“At the start of this academic year, only 41% of students met early literacy benchmarks. By the school year’s end, the percentage of students meeting benchmarks rose to 57%. Among kindergarten students, proficiency rates rose from 24% at the beginning of the year to 60% by the end of the year.”


The provider of the screener, Amplify, noted that Alaska has seen “improvements in student performance that surpass those observed in the rest of our national user base.”

We are proud to have played a critical role in passing such an important piece of legislation and hope for further benefits to Alaska’s students in forthcoming years.