Mississippi Rising: How the Last became First in Literacy Growth
Presented by Leta Palmiter
In this session, we will discuss the positive trends in student achievement in Mississippi. In 1998, as the nation grappled with how to improve
education and President George W. Bush was crafting what would become No Child Left Behind, Mississippi ranked last on The National Assessment
of Educational Progress (NAEP). Statistically, only the District of Columbia scored lower. Fast forward to 2019, and Mississippi is the only
state to make positive gains in all areas on the NAEP. We are number 29 out of 52 in 4th-grade reading, and only 11 states performed
significantly higher statistically. How do you get that amount of movement in a place like Mississippi? The answers are as interesting as the
rest of the story in Mississippi. In her new book, Leta has woven together the story of dyslexia therapy programs, legislation leading to
structured literacy professional development, and private investment advocating for the science of reading in every school. These three threads
weave together our story of growth with lessons for us all.
Literacy changes lives. Our future workforce depends on reading skills, and we need people who can efficiently navigate a knowledge-based
economy and who can competently communicate in a digital world. Teachers are the only ones who can make that happen; they are the agents of
progress and the future of our country.
Conference registration required.