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Michigan's Action Plan for Literacy Excellence
Literacy in Michigan
Literacy is a foundational skill for learning. Michigan has identified early literacy gaps as a focus area for policy and program support for learners, and established a set of initial support mechanisms to address literacy needs and learning gaps.
Why this is important:
State funding has been appropriated to support specific recommendations to ensure that every child can read by grade three and is on track for literacy success. These include:
- Added instructional time grants that support districts in providing additional targeted supports for students who struggle in reading and other literacy skills;
- ISD literacy coaches, who provide direct assistance to school districts and public school academies to address instructional needs to help these students;
- Assessment reimbursement grants to support districts in the use of benchmarks, screening, and diagnostic tools to help identify specific student needs, so that they can receive targeted support; and
- Professional learning funds that supported the creation of a literacy coach network, an administrator literacy leader network, and resources for educators to learn and implement best practices to support all students, as well as students with specialized literacy learning needs, including English Learners, students with disabilities, and other students who may struggle to demonstrate these skills.
How you can engage your district:
Several organizations have partnered with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to provide a consistent, coherent support infrastructure so all literacy efforts are focused on the same goals. MDE served in a leadership role on the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators - General Education Leadership Network Early Literacy Task Force to develop a continuum of "Essential instructional practices in literacy" that span from ages birth to Grade 12.
Encourage educators in your district to review the instructional practices in literacy available on LiteracyEssentials.org and engage in the learning modules available on the website.
Learn more about Michigan literacy efforts to help build an effective literacy system which include:
- The responses to Frequently Asked Questions of the "Read by Grade Three" law;
- The Early Literacy Coaching Model to support ISDs and districts to implement research-supported literacy professional learning practices and define the role of an early literacy coach;
- A comprehensive literacy plan called Michigan’s Action Plan for Literacy Excellence (MAPLE);
- The Family Engagement Initiative to support educators of all students, including families, in literacy; and
- The collaborative effort with the Michigan PreK-12 Literacy Commission as an advisory committee and partner in messaging about the components of the Read by Grade Three legislation with communities and families.
Literacy is a 2018-19 goal of MDE and supports and guidance on literacy will continue to expand.
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) believes in intentional early childhood (birth through age eight) instruction that provides equitable access as evidenced by:
Click for further information related to high-quality instruction for children from birth through age 8.
- Developmentally appropriate practices
- Integrated learning across and within content areas,
- Assessments that rely on continued observation of student performance to inform and drive instructional decisions,
- A balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated activities with opportunities for play-based instructional experiences,
- Culturally relevant curriculum, materials, and practices that are incorporated into daily classroom activities,
Skills and knowledge that impact student literacy learning include:
- oral language
- print concepts
- phonological awareness
- alphabet knowledge and other letter-sound knowledge/phonics
- word analysis strategies
- reading fluency
- handwriting and word processing
- broad content and background knowledge
- knowledge and abilities required specifically to comprehend text
- knowledge and abilities required specifically to compose text
- literacy motivation and engagement
- vocabulary strategies
More information can be found on the Literacy Essentials Website.
MDE has provided supports on key literacy practices, including read aloud with attention to vocabulary, increasing informational text use in the classroom, and interactive writing to address foundational skills standards. Video, webinar, and corresponding research resources can be found here:
To be fully literate, our young students must engage in content area learning to build the knowledge and skills necessary to communicate, collaborate, and critically think.
An additional resource is the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) which reviews the existing research on different programs, products, practices, and policies in education.
Section 35a(4) of the FY 2018 State School Aid Act provides $7,000,000 for early literacy coaches at Intermediate School Districts (ISD) to assist teachers in developing and implementing instructional strategies for pupils in grades K-3 so that pupils are reading at grade level by the end of grade 3. Each ISD in the state is eligible to receive $75,000 per coach from MDE but the ISD must provide funds for at least 50% of the grant amount awarded to support the cost of the coach. In other words, since grant awards may not exceed $75,000 per coach, the maximum required ISD matching allocation would be $37,500 per coach.
Section 104d of the FY 2018 State School Aid Act provides $9,200,000 in an equal per pupil formula reimbursement to districts and public school academies (PSAs) that purchase a computer-adaptive test; or that purchase 1 or more diagnostic or screening tools, for pupils in grades K to 3 that are intended to increase reading proficiency by grade 4; or that purchase a benchmark assessment for pupils in grades K-8.
Section 35a(5) of the FY 2018 State School Aid Act provides $19,900,000 to districts for additional instructional time to pupils in grades K-3 who have been identified as needing additional supports and interventions in order to be reading at grade level by the end of grade 3.
Early Literacy Resources
- Facts for Families: What is the Read by Grade Three Law (Spanish)
- Read by Grade Three - Parent Awareness Toolkit
- Essentials for Families Poster
- Michigan Read by Grade Three - Full Video
- The Michigan Department of Education Early Literacy Coaching Model
- Facts for Families: What is the Read by Grade Three Law?
- English Learner (EL) Guidance
- Read by Grade Three Guide
- MCL: 380.1280f Assessments