Improving student outcomes through early literacy is a top priority for Ohio. Ohio is targeting early literacy because the data shows that early literacy is predictive of academic success, school completion and college and career readiness. Many students with disabilities throughout Ohio read significantly below grade level. Disability status, as well as factors such as poverty, greatly affect the likelihood that a student will drop out of school. Focusing on effective literacy instruction at an early age is crucial in improving Ohio’s educational landscape.
Ohio’s plan is aimed at leveraging resources, such as parent partnerships, teacher capacity, and state systems of support, over the next several years to achieve high student results. These results include: high-quality instruction that is more accessible; a language-rich environment in and outside of school; a system that delivers appropriate academic and behavioral supports; and effective literacy instruction and interventions for students with disabilities in less restrictive settings. The goal is to have more students with disabilities reading proficient or above by the third grade and to have students with disabilities ready for college, careers and/or independent living.