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Literacy Development

Statewide Literacy Goal

In February of 2022, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) published Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy, which presented a rigorous analysis and set of goals to address the concern of literacy rates for Hoosier students. This plan presented a vision and mission for the future of Indiana’s literacy accomplishments, which include an emphasis on science of reading, a term used to describe the body of research on reading, its development, and best practices for its instruction.

Science of reading describes research about “reading, reading development, and best practices for reading instruction” (Petscher et al., 2020). Researchers, particularly scientists who study the brain, have determined that carefully-ordered instruction in the essential components of reading: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension works best in reading instruction. The focus of Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy is to help educators better understand science of reading to identify and implement effective instructional practices that can prevent reading difficulties and support literacy progress.

Support for Educators

Early Literacy Endorsement

Indiana’s Early Literacy Endorsement is legislatively-required for those who plan to renew a Professional Educator License while teaching literacy to PK through grade five students. This endorsement was developed to ensure that Indiana educators have the necessary skills and knowledge in science of reading to best serve our students and ensure 95% of third grade students can read by 2027.

To support Indiana’s statewide goal of ensuring 95% of third grade students can read by 2027, House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1558 (2023) required the Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) to establish a required early literacy endorsement for future teachers applying for an initial Professional Educator License covering the Pre-K-5 grade span or special education after June 30, 2025. To further strengthen the professional knowledge of educators who already hold an existing Pre-K-5 or special education license, Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 1 (2024) revised Indiana Code (IC) 20-28-5-19.7 to also require current teachers to add the early literacy endorsement at the time of their license renewal that falls on or after July 1, 2027. SEA 1 also includes a new section, IC 20-28-5-19.8, which details how an educator may apply for a waiver that provides a one year extension to meet the early literacy endorsement requirements in some cases, which IDOE must submit in a report to the Legislative Council by a specified date. This legislation also requires instructional coaches to have an early literacy endorsement beginning July 1, 2025, for schools with an IREAD pass rate below 70%.

General Guidance

Professional Development Support

Praxis Teaching Reading: Elementary 5205 Exam

  • Praxis Voucher Request Form Coming Soon

LVIS Application for Early Literacy Endorsement

  • Application coming August 1, 2024

Additional Resources

The Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE’s) Priorities for Early Literacy and other literacy initiatives are organized below by age and grade-level bands containing additional, in-depth literacy resources.

Standards in Essential Need of Support are standards which contain content and skills essential for student success and for which data indicate students are performing significantly below expectations. Learn more here.

  • Early Literacy: Infancy to Pre-Kindergarten
    • Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy place emphasis on the literacy growth and development of all children (infancy through age five) who are not yet in a formal K-12 setting. All domains of a child's early development are interrelated and interdependent. Therefore, a wider focus on all foundational content areas is necessary, as language and early literacy development is not solely contained within the English/Language Arts Early Learning Foundations. The Early Learning Foundations and other resources may be viewed on IDOE’s Early Learning web page. The Foundations Guidance for Educators may be viewed in the Indiana Learning Lab.
    • Integrating Play into Literacy Instruction: This resource from the Regional Educational Laboratory Program highlights how to implement research-based literacy practices through play-based learning.
    • Access additional information for families and educators here regarding the transition from early childhood learning to a school learning environment.
  • Primary Grade Literacy: Kindergarten to Grade 5
    • In alignment with Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy, IDOE is partnering with cohorts of Indiana schools to support the implementation of an instructional coaching model aligned with the Science of Reading framework for students in kindergarten through grade two.
    • Standards in Essential Need of Support (SENS) represent insights from a statewide analysis including information regarding content priorities and student performance on statewide assessments. IDOE will reevaluate these content priorities each year and the process may be used to guide local-level evaluations as well. More information regarding SENS is located here.
    • Visit IDOE’s Dyslexia webpage for resources and guidance related to learning characteristics related to dyslexia.
  • Adolescent and Secondary Literacy: Grade 6 to Grade 12
    • As students progress through the intermediate and upper grade levels, literacy demands increase. Students must be able to read and comprehend text from a variety of genres and meaningfully communicate in written and spoken language on a range of topics and purposes. IDOE’s mission is to provide competency for students to ensure their success in institutions of higher education, the workforce, and/or other postsecondary opportunities.
      • Standards in Essential Need of Support (SENS) represent insights from a statewide analysis including information regarding content priorities and student performance on statewide assessments. IDOE will reevaluate these content priorities each year and the process may be used to guide local-level evaluations as well. More information regarding SENS is located here.
      • Indiana’s Content Area Literacy Standards for science/technical subjects and history/social studies are embedded in the content standards. Content area standards reinforce Indiana’s English/language arts (ELA) standards. Content area literacy standards are organized by grade bands (grades 6-8, 9-10, and 11-12). Collaboration between content area and ELA teachers provides students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate success. Content area literacy standards can be found at the bottom of the Indiana ELA Standards webpage.
  • Additional Literacy Resources

    The IDOE Literacy Inventory provides a link to Science of Reading and other English/Language Arts resources through the Indiana Learning Lab and IDOE’s website. A free account is required to explore and access resources on the Indiana Learning Lab. After creating an account, learn how to navigate the platform here. Below are links to several helpful resources.

    Text Complexity

    All text has a level of complexity or readability that affects the way the reader interacts with it. Texts such as novels, articles, poems, short stories, and textbooks have wide ranges of complexity that are appropriate at different grade levels and for a variety of purposes. Educators can decide whether a text is appropriate for a student by examining the text and considering the instructional needs of the student.

    Educators should review the quantitative measures (e.g., word length, sentence complexity) and qualitative measures (e.g., levels of meaning) for a text, as well as consider the reader and task (e.g., purpose, student motivation), before deciding whether the text is appropriate for a student. Please review these resources for more information about text complexity:

    • This Guide to Text Complexity provides greater detail on this topic and how educators may approach this topic in their classrooms.
    • Free access to MetaMetrics’ Lexile Hub(R) is available to all Indiana educators through an agreement with the state of Indiana. Educators who set up an account will have access to all tools within the Lexile Hub(R), including the Lexile Analyzer(R), which can be used to generate quantitative measures for a variety of texts.

    Access guidance regarding the 2024 Reading Plan and dyslexia reporting requirements here.