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A02897 Summary:

COSPNSREpstein, Shimsky, McDonald, Gallagher, Seawright, Jean-Pierre, Thiele, Anderson, Raga, Hevesi, Simon, Cunningham, Woerner, Brown K, Davila, Ardila, McMahon, Weprin, Meeks, Taylor, Rosenthal L, Lunsford, Gonzalez-Rojas, Zaccaro, Smullen, Jensen, Aubry, Fahy, Levenberg, Bronson, Tapia, Dinowitz, Septimo
Add §818, Ed L
Requires school districts to provide instructional programming and services in reading and literacy which are evidence based and aligned with state standards; requires teachers in grades pre-K through five to attend professional development courses in reading education.
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A02897 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 1, 2023
        Introduced  by  M. of A. CARROLL, EPSTEIN, SHIMSKY, McDONALD, GALLAGHER,
          once   and  referred  to  the  Committee  on  Education  --  committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to said committee
        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to early literacy  educa-
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the  "right  to
     2  read act".
     3    §  2. The education law is amended by adding a new section 818 to read
     4  as follows:
     5    § 818. Early literacy education.  1. For purposes of this section, the
     6  following terms shall have the following meanings:
     7    (a) "Evidence-based" means the instruction or item described is  based
     8  on rigorous, reliable, trustworthy and valid scientific evidence and has
     9  demonstrated  a record of success in addressing students' reading compe-
    10  tency in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics,  vocabulary  develop-
    11  ment,  reading fluency and comprehension, including background knowledge
    12  oral language and writing.
    13    (b) "Phonemic awareness" means the ability to notice, think about  and
    14  manipulate individual sounds in spoken syllables and words.
    15    (c) "Vocabulary development" means the process of acquiring new words.
    16  "Vocabulary  development" includes improving all areas of communication,
    17  including listening, speaking, reading and  writing  which  is  directly
    18  related  to  school  achievement  and  is a strong predictor for reading
    19  success.
    20    (d) "Reading fluency" means the ability to  read  words,  phrases  and
    21  sentences accurately, at an appropriate speed, and with expression.
    22    (e)  "Reading  comprehension"  means  a  function  of word recognition
    23  skills and language comprehension skills and shall include having suffi-
    24  cient background information and vocabulary in order for the  reader  to
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 2897--A                          2
     1  understand  the  words  in  front  of them. "Reading comprehension" also
     2  includes the active process that requires  intentional  thinking  during
     3  which  meaning  is constructed through interactions between the text and
     4  reader.  Comprehension  skills  are  taught explicitly by demonstrating,
     5  explaining, modeling and implementing specific cognitive  strategies  to
     6  help beginning readers derive meaning through intentional, problem-solv-
     7  ing thinking processes.
     8    (f) "Three-cueing", or "meaning structure visual" (MSV) means a method
     9  that  teaches  students to use meaning, structure and syntax, and visual
    10  cues when attempting to read an unknown word.
    11    (g) "Cultural responsiveness" means alignment with the New York  state
    12  culturally-responsive sustaining education (CRSE) framework.
    13    (h)  "Culturally-responsive  sustaining  education  (CRSE)  framework"
    14  means a framework that helps educators create student-centered  learning
    15  environments  that:  affirm  racial, linguistic and cultural identities;
    16  prepare students for rigor and independent learning,  develop  students'
    17  abilities  to  connect  across lines of difference; elevate historically
    18  marginalized voices; and empower students as agents of social change.
    19    2. Each school district shall provide all students in pre-kindergarten
    20  through fifth grade programming and services necessary to ensure to  the
    21  greatest  extent  possible  that students, as they progress through pre-
    22  kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth and fifth grades develop  the
    23  necessary  foundational  reading  skills  to  enable  them to master the
    24  academic standards  and  expectations  applicable  to  the  sixth  grade
    25  curriculum  and  beyond.  The instructional programming and services for
    26  teaching students to read must  be  evidence-based  and  scientifically-
    27  based,  must focus on reading competency in the areas of phonemic aware-
    28  ness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading  fluency,  comprehension,
    29  including  background  knowledge,  oral language and writing, oral skill
    30  development, and must align with CRSE framework. Districts shall  ensure
    31  that  all early literacy programming and services are part of an aligned
    32  and coherent plan designed to improve student reading outcomes in grades
    33  pre-kindergarten through five.
    34    3. Every school district shall ensure that all  teachers  employed  to
    35  teach  pre-kindergarten,  kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth and
    36  fifth grades, including teachers with  multiple  subject  and  education
    37  specialist  teaching credentials, possess adequate capabilities to teach
    38  literacy  using  evidence-based  instruction.  Teachers  employed  by  a
    39  district  before  or on the effective date of this section may meet this
    40  requirement by presenting  evidence  of  their  proficiency  in  reading
    41  instruction  through completion of professional learning courses includ-
    42  ing, but not limited to, evidence-based means of  teaching  foundational
    43  reading  skills  in  print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and
    44  word recognition, comprehension and supporting reading fluency  for  all
    45  pupils, including establishing tiered supports for students with reading
    46  difficulties  including  those  with  characteristics  of  dyslexia  and
    47  dysgraphia, English learners and students with exceptional needs. Teach-
    48  ers employed by a district after the  effective  date  of  this  section
    49  shall  meet this requirement by successfully completing at least thirty-
    50  five hours of evidence-based training in reading instruction in  accord-
    51  ance with subdivision seven of this section.  Alternatively, current and
    52  future  educators  can  provide  evidence that their teacher preparation
    53  program adequately covered all of these topics during their  enrollment.
    54  To the extent possible, school leaders of elementary schools should also
    55  meet the requirements of this section.

        A. 2897--A                          3
     1    4.  The  department  shall  provide  grants  to  BOCES  and/or  school
     2  districts to hire onsite literacy coaches  trained  in  the  science  of
     3  reading,  focusing  on  high  need  districts with at least seventy-five
     4  percent of third graders reading below  proficiency  based  on  the  two
     5  thousand  twenty-two--two  thousand  twenty-three New York state English
     6  language arts assessment.
     7    5. The department shall develop a  list  of  approved,  evidence-based
     8  curricula that meets the definition set forth in paragraph (a) of subdi-
     9  vision  one  of  this  section. Such list shall be posted on the depart-
    10  ment's website and shall at a minimum be  updated  annually.  Such  list
    11  shall  not  include  instructional  programming or materials that employ
    12  three-cueing or meaning structure visual (MSV). Approved curricula shall
    13  at a minimum:
    14    (a) have been proven to accelerate student progress in attaining read-
    15  ing competency;
    16    (b) provide explicit and systematic skill development in the areas  of
    17  phonemic  awareness,  phonics, vocabulary development, comprehension and
    18  reading fluency, including oral skill development;
    19    (c) be evidence-based  and  be  aligned  with  the  preschool  through
    20  elementary  and secondary education standards for reading adopted by the
    21  department;
    22    (d) include evidence-based valid and reliable assessments that provide
    23  initial and ongoing analysis of a student's progress in attaining  read-
    24  ing competency at least three times per year, beginning in kindergarten;
    25  and
    26    (e) include texts on core academic content to assist students in main-
    27  taining  or  meeting  grade-appropriate  proficiency  levels in academic
    28  subjects in addition to  reading,  while  ensuring  alignment  with  the
    29  state's CRSE framework.
    30    6.  The  department  shall  develop  a  competitive grant program that
    31  allows districts to replace non-evidence-based curricula with  curricula
    32  from  the  approved  department  list of evidence-based curricula. Funds
    33  from this grant may be used to provide professional learning for  educa-
    34  tors to effectively implement the new evidence-based curricula.
    35    7.  (a)  The  department shall develop a list of approved professional
    36  development programs that are evidence-based and  provide  opportunities
    37  for  practical application of evidence-based literacy instruction in the
    38  classroom. Programs should address significant reading deficiencies  and
    39  apply intervention strategies for struggling students including students
    40  with characteristics of dyslexia and dysgraphia, in addition to teaching
    41  general,   evidence-based  literacy  instructional  approaches  for  all
    42  students. The department shall include on such list the approved profes-
    43  sional development programs that are available online. Such  list  shall
    44  be  posted on the department's website and shall at a minimum be updated
    45  annually. The department shall ensure that each professional development
    46  program included on such list:
    47    (i) is focused on or aligns  with  the  science  of  reading,  and  is
    48  comprehensive and research-based, including the following:
    49    (1)  the  study  of  organized,  systematic, explicit skills including
    50  phonemic awareness, direct, systematic, explicit phonics,  and  decoding
    51  strategies;
    52    (2)  a  strong literature, language and comprehension component encom-
    53  passing both oral and written language;
    54    (3) ongoing screening techniques to inform teaching;
    55    (4) early intervention measures; and
    56    (5) guided practice in a clinical setting;

        A. 2897--A                          4
     1    (ii) includes rigorous evaluations of learning both throughout and  at
     2  the  conclusion of the course, which a participant must pass to success-
     3  fully complete the course; and
     4    (iii)  aligns with the approved instructional programming published in
     5  accordance with subdivision five of this section.
     6    (b) For purposes of this subdivision,  "direct,  systematic,  explicit
     7  phonics"   means  phonemic  awareness,  spelling  patterns,  the  direct
     8  instruction of sound/symbol codes and practice in  connected  text,  and
     9  the relationship of direct, systematic, explicit phonics.
    10    8.  (a)  Every  school  district, at least three times per year, shall
    11  give the parent or guardian of each student in pre-kindergarten  through
    12  grade five a progress report about such student's literacy progress. For
    13  pre-kindergarten  students,  such  report shall include an assessment of
    14  cognitive abilities, including executive function, and  social-emotional
    15  learning.  For  kindergarten  through  grade  five, such progress report
    16  shall include information about the following:
    17    (i) the student's reading proficiency as measured by district  reading
    18  assessments and screeners;
    19    (ii)  information  about  the  literacy programming and services being
    20  provided to the student, including curriculum; and
    21    (iii) list of evidence-based home and community resources  that  fami-
    22  lies  and  caregivers  can  use  to  support  their  child's reading and
    23  language development.
    24    (b) The department  shall  develop  a  progress  report  template  for
    25  districts  to  meet the requirements set forth pursuant to this subdivi-
    26  sion.
    27    9. (a) Twelve months after the effective date of this section  and  on
    28  an  annual  basis  thereafter, the commissioner shall submit a report to
    29  the  legislative  committees  with  jurisdiction  over  pre-kindergarten
    30  through  grade  twelve  education  summarizing,  at minimum, the state's
    31  performance on each of the following metrics:
    32    (i) students' literacy and  reading  progression  using  state  growth
    33  measures.  The commissioner shall analyze the state's progress in regard
    34  to students' reading and literacy using the state's educational  assess-
    35  ment  system.  The system shall measure individual students' educational
    36  growth in the area of reading based on indicators of current achievement
    37  growth, and each individual student's growth must be shown  relative  to
    38  the  student's  prior  achievement.  Indicators of achievement and prior
    39  achievement shall be based on highly reliable statewide assessments. The
    40  commissioner shall include aggregated data and disaggregated data  show-
    41  ing educational growth by school site, grade and race/ethnicity;
    42    (ii)  by school site and grade, the percentage of teachers required to
    43  possess capabilities in research-based literacy instruction as specified
    44  under subdivision three of this section that have successfully completed
    45  training or otherwise demonstrated knowledge in evidence-based  literacy
    46  instruction;
    47    (iii) by school site and grade, the names of the approved professional
    48  development  programs  in  accordance  with  subdivision  seven  of this
    49  section used by teachers; and
    50    (iv) by school site and grade, the names of the approved instructional
    51  programming and supporting materials as specified under subdivision five
    52  of this section that were used at the beginning and end  of  the  school
    53  year.
    54    (b)  The department shall publish this information on its website in a
    55  clear and accessible format.
    56    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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