New Report: Full Speed Ahead 2019

Each year, we release a report to share the progress the state has made toward the Campaign’s goals, detailing accountability milestones used to track our key impact areas. We are excited to release Full Speed Ahead: 2019 Progress Report on Grade-Level Reading in Arkansas.

The report includes progress on key milestones and goals, new bright spots detailing statewide and community accomplishments, and more. Some highlights include:

  • Third-grade students meeting the reading readiness benchmark on the ACT Aspire assessment increased from 35% in 2015-2016 to 38.3% in 2018-2019. However, the gap between African American and white children has grown over that same time period from 20% to 21.9%, and the gap between Hispanic and white students has grown from 13% to 15.1%.
  • Children receiving books through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library increased from 20,000 per month in 2017 to 30,031 per month in 2019.
  • Act 83, which was passed during the 2019 legislative session, requires the Arkansas Department of Education to create an approved list of materials, resources, and curriculum programs for public and charter schools that are supported by the science of reading.

Arkansas has made progress so far toward these goals, but we still have work to do. Our partners across the state are working hard in each of our impact areas to improve grade-level literacy rates. From reducing chronic absenteeism rates to preventing the summer slide, everyone has a role to play in ensuring that all Arkansas students can read on grade level by the end of third grade.