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Some NC leaders say Mississippi’s model charts the way to helping kids read


Last updated April 28, 2021

By Tina Underwood, Contributing Writer

What impacts reading success for pre-K and elementary school students? Reading programs and techniques like LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling), “science of reading,” and Open Court (whose name changed to Imagine It!) abound, but can their use in schools predict or even ensure reading outcomes?

In an NPR program airing on WFAE 90.7 (Charlotte, North Carolina), a reporter looks at the strides the state of Mississippi made when it implemented LETRS. The state’s NAEP reading scores for fourth-graders shot up from 21% being proficient in 2013 to nearly 32% proficiency in 2019. It’s a change that caught the attention of North Carolina lawmakers, who recently passed a bill to use the same model.

Paul Thomas, an education professor at Furman University, says there’s more to Mississippi’s numbers, and states might consider spending on other things that affect student success.

Last updated April 28, 2021
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