Evidence-Based Instructional Strategies to Build K–3 Students’ Foundational Literacy Skills in Massachusetts

In Year 1, R1CC supported the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in improving K–3 literacy instruction. R1CC reviewed and shared evidence-based literacy instructional practices with DESE.

photo of a boy in a classroom with other students seated at a desk holding a pencil as he writes.

In Year 2, the R1CC team completed a needs assessment to better understand the literacy strategies that are currently taught in educator preparation programs (EPPs) and used in schools. The report Early Literacy in Massachusetts: Part 1. Findings from the Massachusetts Educator Preparation Program Early Childhood and Elementary Education Program Core Course Review reviewed 64 syllabi from a voluntary sample of nine EPPs for their early childhood and elementary certification pathways, representing more than 30% of Massachusetts’ recent graduates/program completers. To further support this work, R1CC recently surveyed school and district leaders to understand how teachers use literacy practices in the classroom. R1CC will analyze the results to help DESE’s use of the data in prioritizing literacy instruction supports.

This work is being conducted in collaboration with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform Center (CEEDAR Center), which is building staff capacity to review and revise program requirements and provide resources for EPP requirements with regard to K–3 Literacy. In later stages of the collaboration, Region 1 will support DESE in establishing continuous improvement processes in literacy instruction, resulting in statewide increases in educators’ capacity to use the practices and in students’ foundational literacy skills.