“Students and staff have shown amazing progress,” Fulton Superintendent Mike Looney said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We are encouraged to see the early results in our literacy efforts. Our investment into the Science of Reading is really paying off.”
While several Fulton schools performed well, some schools in high-poverty areas had more than 50% of third graders reading below grade level.
Georgia lawmakers have demanded a sweeping overhaul of the way public schools teach reading. The Georgia Department of Education says it has heavily invested in literacy training by distributing $240 million in federal funds to school reading programs since the pandemic began. The department has also added a director of literacy to coordinate instructional efforts across the state.
The Georgia Legislature passed two laws this year aimed at improving literacy instruction. One requires teachers to be trained in evidence-based reading methods. The other establishes a literacy council that would oversee the law’s implementation.
According to state metrics, 66% of third-grade students were on or above grade level in reading for the 2022-23 school year. In 2021-22, the state says 63.8% of third graders were reading on or above grade level. The chart below shows how some of metro Atlanta’s largest school districts are performing.
|District||Percent of 2023 third graders reading on grade level||Percent 2022 third graders reading on grade level||Schools named 2023 achievement “Literacy Leaders”|