Iowa Ideas is a nonpartisan, statewide learning experience designed to explore the key questions and big ideas that will shape the future of Iowa.

Created by The Gazette, Iowa Ideas consists of in-depth, solutions-focused journalism and events. Engaged citizens, community advocates and industry leaders are invited to join us.

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Conference replay: Early childhood education and literacy

How can we set all students up for success?

    An Arthur Elementary then third-grader reads to herself during a class at the Cedar Rapids school. The Iowa Department of Education reports 23.1 percent of third-graders are not proficient in reading, a situation the Iowa Legislature attempted to address with mandatory summer school or by having students repeat third grade. That effort was abandoned, though, given state funding cuts. (File photo: Liz Martin/The Gazette)
    K-12 Education
    Nov 13, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Of more than 33,700 Iowa third-graders who took the Iowa Assessment in 2015-16, 23.1 percent were not proficient in reading

    According to the Iowa Department of Education, that benchmark is critical because after third grade "students are expected to go beyond 'learning to read' and begin 'reading to learn.'" But state funding shortfalls have lead to cuts in supplemental reading programs.

    At Iowa Ideas 2017, September 20-22 in Cedar Rapids, panelists shared success stories in reading initiatives from across Iowa, policy ideas and thoughts on what work still needs to be done.  

    Panelists included: 

    Enter your email address to access the full audio and subscribe to our education newsletter:

    Listen to the full replay to hear: 

    • How and why third grade was established as a critical benchmark for reading progress

    • How the achievement gap impacts early childhood learning — and what can help those students succeed

    • The results that several initiatives around Iowa are seeing

    • The brain science behind literacy

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