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The Rhode Island Right to Read Act 

The Rhode Island Right to Read Act was passed in July of 2019.  The law requires educators to exhibit either proficiency in or awareness of the knowledge and practices of the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy. In addition, Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) must provide professional learning for educators to support these requirements, and Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) must address these requirements within their programs of study.

The Science of Reading, or scientific reading instruction, is defined as empirically-based instruction that is grounded in the study of the relationship between cognitive science and educational outcomes.

Structured Literacy is defined as an approach to teaching that integrates speaking, listening, reading, and writing by providing explicit, systematic, diagnostic-prescriptive instruction in phonological and phonemic awareness, sound-symbol correspondence (phonics), syllables, morphology, semantics, and syntax. For more information, visit RIDE’s Structured Literacy page. 

Whether a teacher must meet proficiency or awareness requirements is determined by the educator's current work assignment. The information below provides an overview of awareness and proficiency requirements; however, all educators should review the RIDE’s Revised LEA Guidance Document to ensure requirements are met.

For additional information:

The Rhode Island Science of Reading and Structured Literacy Syllabi Refinement Tool and Resource Bank for Syllabi Enhancement are designed to help Rhode Island Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) refine their syllabi to meet the requirements of the Rhode Island Right to Read Act. This resource is based on the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center’s innovation configuration (IC) matrix. The Syllabi Refinement Tool crosswalks all competencies and components of proficiency in the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy as required by the Right to Read Act with the CEEDAR Center’s K-5 Evidence-Based Reading Instruction IC, the Mount St. Joseph Syllabi Planning Rubric, and the International Dyslexia Association’s Knowledge and Practice Standards.

These tools facilitate EPPs thinking comprehensively about the degree to which their syllabi/coursework are aligned to reading science and provide aligned resources to address any determined needs. Additional uses may be found for LEAs (e.g., aligning instruction, assessment, curriculum, and professional learning to the Science of Reading).