Gov. Perdue has focused on implementing education innovations to begin transforming North Carolina schools. Today's announcement is about an initiative that provides teachers with mobile technology that empowers them to accurately assess children's reading progress. The diagnostic software allows teachers to precisely gauge students' progress and target trouble spots.
"Investing in education pays dividends and innovative education initiatives are transforming how we educate our children," Gov. Perdue said. "This reading diagnostic initiative supports our efforts to ensure that children read on grade level -- that is why I'm making it a priority in my budget and why I will work with the General Assembly to ensure we can expand this initiative to more schools across the state."
Early results from the schools that are using the program are encouraging. The diagnostic tools are important because they help teachers identify children in need, assign instruction that is tailored to the child's specific needs and notify parents when necessary. By monitoring children's reading progress on a regular basis--as frequently as every two weeks--teachers are able to gauge the effectiveness of their instruction and adjust as necessary.
The Perdue Administration launched the initiative in approximately 480 schools in the 2010-2011 budget year as a pilot program. In its 2011-2012 budget, the General Assembly cut the $10 million funding for the program, meaning the program's success could not be expanded to other school districts.
Gov. Perdue's budget proposal for 2012-2013 will restore the $10 million funding so the approximately 480 schools can continue implementing the initiative and so it can be expanded to an additional 182 schools. If the General Assembly does not provide funding for the initiative this year, the approximately 480 schools currently using the technology may have to discontinue the program.