LITTLE ROCK (KAIT/AP) - Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education launched a new initiative on Thursday to increase literacy in the state.
Reading Initiative for Student Excellence or R. I. S. E. Arkansas is an initiative to build a reading culture through collaboration with stakeholders and also provide additional instructional support for teachers, according to a news release.
"Reading and literacy skills are vital for success in the classroom and life in general," Hutchinson said. "For students looking toward a degree or new career path, high-level literacy skills are essential."
According to ACT Aspire results in 2015, 48.6 percent of students in grades three through ten were proficient in English language arts. 39 percent of graduating seniors met reading readiness benchmarks. That puts Arkansas in the lower third of states in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
The R. I. S. E. program aims to increase the number of students who meets the ACT Aspire reading readiness benchmark by ten percent in three years, rise above the bottom third of state in five years on the 4th grade NAEP reading assessment, and increase the number of graduates meeting the ACT reading benchmark by ten percent in five years.
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