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Right to Read

IMPLEMENTATION TRACKER

In 2021, Connecticut passed landmark early literacy legislation called “Right to Read,'' which systematizes a statewide plan for reading, based on evidence-based pedagogy. It established a Center for Literacy Research and Reading Success (the Center) within the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) to oversee the state’s literacy goals, including:

  • Setting reading curriculum models and program requirements for districts; 

  • Developing a list of approved reading assessments to track progress;

  • Providing professional learning to districts; 

  • Hiring external literacy coaches to support the state’s high-need districts; and 

  • Coordinating with teacher preparation programs.

Implementation Progress (2021-2024)

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About The Reading Leadership
Implementation Council​

This body was first convened in 2022, with a purpose of advising the director of the Center. Council members serve two-year terms, with the terms of the first members expiring on June 30, 2024.

Passage of Right to Read legislation.

CSDE establishes the Center, under Interim Director Dr. Melissa Wlodarczyk Hickey.

The legislature appoints members to the Reading Leadership Implementation Council.

June
2021

Sept.
2021

Nov.
2021

Reaching for a Book

Science of Reading Masterclass - Training on the Science of Reading for district leadership teams.

Connecticut's Partnership for Literacy Success - Coaching to Alliance Districts and Opportunity Districts provided through a unique 8-year collaboration between the CSDE, Connecticut's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, the Neag School of Education at UConn, the CWCSEO, HILL for Literacy, and Literacy How.

ReadConn - Instructional training for teachers.

WestEd - Capacity building in the science of reading for smaller districts.

June
2022

 

(From left to right) Desi Nesmith, Irene Parisi, Senator Patricia Billie Miller, Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker, Joanne White, Amy Dowell, Melissa Hickey, and Fran Rabinowitz at CB Jennings Elementary School in New London on Tuesday, June 21, 2022

(From left to right) Desi Nesmith, Irene Parisi, Senator Patricia Billie Miller, Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker, Joanne White, Amy Dowell, Melissa Hickey, and Fran Rabinowitz at CB Jennings Elementary School in New London on Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Center begins to orchestrate aligned professional development across all public school districts and support districts in implementation. (Ongoing)

The Center establishes a list of approved, evidence-based early literacy curriculum models or programs, in accordance
with the legislation. 

Sept.
2022

 

Dec.
2022

 

Dr. Melissa Wlodarczyk Hickey hired as permanent Director of the Center.

Event: The Science Behind Reading - Covering Connecticut's Right to Read efforts - featuring Emily Hanford, Dr. Kymyona Burk, and Connecticut leaders and educators.

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(From left to right) Dr. Kymyona Burk, Amy Dowell, Emily Hanford on December 6, 2022

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Doing Homework

Event: Legislative Forum on District Implementation of Right to Read - featuring Senator Pat Billie Miller, Commissioner Charlene Russell Tucker, Dr. Melissa Hickey, and local district administrators
and educators.

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The Center develops and implements a waiver process for districts using other reading curriculums or programs that still meet the legislative criteria. (Final determinations announced in December 2023.)

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July
2023

The CSDE compiles a list of reading assessments for use by each district in identifying K-3 students who are below proficiency in reading and track progress.

Dec.
2023

 

March
2023

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Hartford Parent University and Right to Read CT Coalition launch parent training module on
Right to Read.

CSDE launches "Infinite Possibilities" webinar series, spotlighting the work of districts and charters as they implement state-approved
K-3 core comprehensive reading curriculum models or programs. (More on this below.)

May
2024

Apr.

2024
 

Feb.
2024

 

The Center develops a coordinated state-wide reading plan for K-3.

The CSDE's "Infinite Possibilities" Webinar Series  -

Spotlighting District Implementation

Books

Next Steps

The Commissioner of Education to conduct an evaluation of the activities of the Center and submit it to the General Assembly.

All public school districts adopt one of the Center’s approved early literacy curriculum models or programs. (By July 1, 2025 and biennially thereafter)

The Center to publicly report which approved, evidence-based reading curriculum is being implemented by each district. (By Sept. 1, 2025 and biennially thereafter)

Implementation Grants to Districts

In FY 23-24, the Center administered Right to Read Grants, available to all local and regional boards of education, using $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to the CSDE. These funds support local implementation of scientifically-based, evidence-based literacy teaching and learning in grades K-3. Total grant awards in each district have ranged from $10,000-$1,078,000, contingent upon recipients’ establishment of a district leadership literacy team that participates in state training programs and executes an approved district literacy plan.

Update on Local Implementation

In May 2024, the CSDE reported that 175 out of 180 public school districts and charter schools were already on track for the July 2025 deadline to implement the state’s Right to Read legislation.

Webinar Series
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