The Indiana Department of Education says it will provide extra literacy and STEM instruction support for Hoosier schools. The department plans to offer coaching for educators, as well as collegiate teacher preparation programs and enhanced literacy and STEM resources through the Indiana Learning Lab.
The IDOE will also offer all Indiana schools the opportunity to administer the IREAD-3 assessment to second graders. The department says the efforts will ultimately lead to higher literacy rates and fewer testing requirements for students in the third grade.
“Literacy and STEM skills are foundational to our students’ future learning,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “Data shows that the roadmap of opportunity is endless for students who are literate by the end of third grade – and that the future looks very different for our students who are struggling to read. That’s why we must be intentional with skill development for our students. We know that inquiry- and problem-based learning in STEM courses help students build skills they will use no matter whether their next steps lead them to enrollment, employment or enlistment leading to service.”
The department cites research from Yale University, which shows a need for students to be proficient readers by grade three. According to the research, students who are poor readers at the end of third grade are likely to experience literacy challenges throughout their life and are less likely to graduate on time or never receive a high school diploma.
“These student-centered initiatives will support our educators as they teach students to read and build essential skills, including critical thinking, creativity, innovation and teamwork,” said Jenner. “It’s encouraging to see the enthusiasm statewide among educators and community partners for this important work. We know that in order to continue improving for our students, we must urgently lean-in and ensure every student graduates high school with the knowledge and skills to pursue their future pathway.”
The department says it will also provide resources to help educators implement and apply the principles of the Science of Reading framework and STEM learning. The Indiana Learning Lab is a microlearning digital platform that provides teaching and learning support for educators and families.
You can learn more about Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy by clicking here.