When Florida State Assessment scores revealed that our third-graders were under-performing in reading, my colleagues and I analyzed the data to determine the root cause of performance. The data showed a need for an explicit, phonics-based approach to literacy for our young students. Unless they develop foundational reading skills early, students will experience literacy deficits across all subjects, and phonics instruction embedded in comprehensive reading instruction is the most effective way to teach them how to read.

In fact, last year the Florida Senate passed a bill that requires instructional materials to incorporate evidence-based strategies,...

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  • About the Author:

    Kimberly Jay is the director of elementary curriculum for St. Lucie Public Schools in Florida.