Pre- and post-testing demonstrated that teacher knowledge increased tremendously, and researcher observation revealed drastic changes in classroom practice in the pilot schools.
The overall reach and scope of the project was expanded through the implementation of the Literacy Matrix. In the pilot, 120 Florida educators from schools across 11 districts were immersed in in-depth educational modules that included support for assessment, instruction and intervention in key areas. Among participating students, 91 percent of the post-test scores were above the average of the pre-test scores. This fall, the full Literacy Matrix was launched with 500 teachers across the state.
About half of all new teachers in Florida begin their careers without any formal teacher preparation, and many veteran teachers were never taught evidence-based methods for supporting struggling readers. The team is ensuring that teachers across the state have the high quality professional learning opportunities they deserve. This is the critical nature of the James Patterson Literacy Challenge.
“With this phase of the project, we are able to extend our in-person training and provide tech-supported tools that will reach more teachers and benefit more students across the state,” Good said.
Thanks to this gift, the team will scale implementation to include as many districts and schools as possible, creating a statewide network of support for teachers and school leaders. This level of engaged effort in our Florida schools will continue to attract attention from national, regional, and community leaders who understand that reading proficiency and our nation’s future are intrinsically linked.
“Better readers make better people and citizens,” Patterson noted, “Simply put, I believe reading saves lives.”