Improving early literacy is essential to increasing high school graduation rates allowing students to be successful in postsecondary education and ensuring the prosperity of all Americans, according to a report released by the National Governors Association (NGA).

A Governor’s Guide to Early Literacy: Getting all Students Reading by Third Grade examines the gap between research and policy and describes the five policy actions that governors can take to ensure all children read at grade level by the end of third grade.

States can increase the number of children who are proficient in reading by third grade by including three major and widely embraced results of educational research in their efforts:

  • Differences in literacy and language development in early childhood can lead to achievement gaps as early as kindergarten;
  • Reading proficiency requires a focus on interrelated skills and knowledge taught over time; and
  • Parents, primary caregivers and teachers have the most influence on children’s language and literacy development.

To learn more, please visit http://www.nga.org/cms/center/edu.