Reading proficiency is a necessary skill set for student success — but literacy also affects an individual’s trajectory throughout life. According to the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, low literacy skills affect employment options, income levels, incarceration rates, access to adequate health care, and life expectancy.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that although reading gains have been made over the past several decades, the improvement has been marginal. A potential contributing factor is the lack of training teachers receive regarding evidence-based literacy instruction. Outdated, common practices tend to guide instruction when it comes to learning to read, despite research that backs a more calculated, sciencebased approach (Birsh & Carreker, 2018).