A full room of education leaders and stakeholders joined Kansas Governor Sam Brownback for the Governor's Literacy Summit today at Emporia State University.
In his Road Map for Kansas, Governor Brownback emphasized the importance of improving literacy skills in Kansas children.
"The Road Map sets a clear and measureable goal to increase the percentage of 4th graders reading at grade level," Governor Brownback said. "According to 2011 NAEP results, 29% of Kansas 4th graders read below the "basic' level and 64% of 4th graders scored below the "proficient' level. We must do better and by working together and focusing on shared goals, I believe we can."
Governor Brownback challenged the group to meet three measureable objectives:
1. Kansas will meet its current goal of 95% of students "Meets Standard" on 4th grade reading state assessment scores in 2013 (based on 2011 data, this would require an increase of 9%, from 87% to 95%, on state assessments).
2. Kansas will be in the top 5 states for average 4th grade reading scores in 2014 (based on 2011 data, this would require an increase of 5 points, from 224 to 229, on Kansas NAEP scores).
3. Kansas will be #1 in average 4th grade reading scores in 2018 (based on 2011 data, this would require an increase in 14 points, from 224 to 238, on Kansas NAEP scores).
Governor Brownback's remarks followed an introduction by Dr. Phillip Bennett, the dean of the Teacher College at Emporia State University. The group then heard a series of presentations from leaders of national and statewide literacy programs. A roundtable discussion and question and answer session concluded the summit.
"This summit was a great opportunity to meet with educational leaders and stakeholders to discuss the challenges we face and the solutions we seek," Governor Brownback said. "I look forward to combining our efforts and working to improve the future of our young Kansans."
Governor Brownback said the information shared and gathered at today's summit will be used to develop an action plan for the state's role in improving literacy.