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Reading Initiative Yields Substantial Gains

Reading Initiative Yields Substantial Gains

Palo Alto, CA—With a focus on early literacy, the Every Student Reads Initiative (ESRI) in the Palo Alto Unified School District shows very promising up-to-date results within each student group tested this year. Concentrated efforts in elementary classroom instruction bring major improvements in student reading proficiency across the district.

Results from the End-of-the-Year i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment in grades kindergarten through fifth grade highlights the student groups yielding the highest growth when comparing May 2023 scores to the Beginning-of-the-Year test outcomes.

The highest gains came from the following ESRI groups: African American or Black students are now seeing a 33 percentage point increase, English Learners grew by 37 percentage points, and Hispanic or Latino students jumped 36 percentage points with 80 percent, 66 percent, and 65 percent reading on or above grade level respectively.

Impressive gains were made by Pacific Islander students with 56 percent reading on or above grade level, a 29 percentage point increase.

Boosting their reading skills, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged students and Hispanic or Latino and Socioeconomically Disadvantaged students both gained 30 percentage points. Within these groups, 63 percent and 49 percent of the groups are reading on or above grade level respectively.

The district’s Students with Disabilities show a 19 percentage point increase since the beginning of the school year, thus 53 percent are reading on or above grade level. By reviewing each student’s assessments, teachers are able to address challenges and provide high-quality instruction in specific domains in order to continue improvement in reading and comprehension skills.

PAUSD teachers and students apply tremendous effort into growing grade-level readers by developing essential skills that have a lifelong impact.

Year three of the Every Student Reads Initiative begins in the fall when the spring 2023 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) English Language Arts (ELA) and Reading results for third grade ESRI groups will be presented to the Board.

Districtwide results can be found here.