Alaska Policy Forum's championed reading reforms make major progress

Anchorage, Alaska. Legislators have passed “Read by Nine” legislation to help ensure the state’s students learn to read by age nine, with Gov. Mike Dunleavy expected to sign it into law. 

The legislation is the result of nine years of work and research from Alaska Policy Forum (APF) that highlighted the state’s poor student outcomes, and APF’s unceasing recommendation that reforms previously adopted in Florida and Mississippi be embraced by Alaska. APF’s research found Alaska’s students’ K–3 reading skills have been dismal for the last 15 years, with a system that fails to teach children the basics by age nine. These findings and the recommended policy reforms were shared with policymakers each year. 

In its proposed policy recommendations, APF focused on the successful efforts of Florida and Mississippi. The reforms are designed to help children read by nine years old, readying themselves for life. The initiative provides dedicated reading coaches, and while it will assist every student, the primary focus is on those students who struggle the most with reading. The program’s success hinges on the cooperation of administrators, teachers, and parents. 

APF is grateful to many integral players involved in this achievement, including Senators Tom Begich, Roger Holland, and Shelley Hughes, Representatives Chris Tuck and Mike Cronk, Governor Mike Dunleavy, Department of Education and Early Development Commissioner Michael Johnson, and the Foundation of Excellence in Education staff. 

Bethany Marcum, CEO of Alaska Policy Forum, said, “it was a long-fought battle, and the many champions deserve high praise for their ongoing work throughout the years.” 

About Us: VISION
Our vision is an Alaska that continuously grows prosperity by maximizing individual opportunities and freedom.

Our mission is to empower and educate Alaskans and policymakers by promoting policies that grow freedom for all.

Contact Info:
Name: Bethany Marcum, CEO of Alaska Policy Forum
Email: Send Email
Organization: Alaska Policy Forum
Address: Anchorage, Alaska

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Release ID: 89075404

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