Effective reading and writing skills are essential to success in school and success in life.  Therefore, the State Board of Education supports and encourages state and local efforts to help all students become successful readers and writers.  The Board encourages persons closest to the child, including parents, teachers, and other educators, to assume responsibility for creating conditions to support successful readers and writers.  The Board encourages local school districts to establish policies that are mindful of the critical role of reading and writing instruction.

The Board further encourages local school districts to establish a policy that recognizes the importance of providing children with reading and writing skills based both on the structure of language and the meaning of language in context.  Establishing an early foundation for effective reading and writing is one of the most important functions of schools.  Schools should teach systematic phonics in grades K- 2. In addition, schools should teach knowledge of print, word analysis, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and the writing process including spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization.  Students should read and write extensively across all content areas to develop and apply their reading and writing skills through grade 12.  Local policy should encourage approaches that are based on the needs of the student and should include emphasis on appropriate strategies that recognize the developing skills of the student.

The Board supports teacher training and ongoing professional development in the core components of reading and writing instruction including systematic phonics and the use of a variety of skills and techniques for teaching children to read and write.  The Board will promote state level efforts that help schools meet standards for reading and writing.