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Literacy Education Task Force

Read the Early Literacy Education Task Force Report 

The Early Literacy Education Task Force was established through the enactment of the “Structured Literacy Action Plan Act of 2022” (D.C. Official Code § 38-2263).  The Act outlined the composition of the Task Force, including representatives from the following District government agencies:  

  • Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE); 
  • District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS); 
  • DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB); 
  • DC State Board of Education (SBOE); and 
  • Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME). 

With the addition of a Council representative appointed by the Chairman of the Council, the Task Force brought together a diverse range of practitioners, school and District leaders, and government officials. Meeting over seven sessions from November 2022 to August 2023, the Task Force leveraged its members’ collective expertise and perspectives, fostered collaboration, and broke down traditional silos to come to consensus on recommendations to advance literacy instruction in the District. These recommendations are summarized in the report, which can be read here. The task force came to a consensus on four primary recommendations: 

  • Recommendation 1: The Task Force recommends that DC strengthen literacy instruction* by mandating competency in structured literacy instruction for all: Grade K-5 general education teachers**; K-5 reading specialists and interventionalists; K-12 special education teachers; and K-5 English learner teachers.  
  • Recommendation 2: The Task Force recommends that DC mandate specialized structured literacy training for school-based administrators who are responsible for evaluating or supporting K-5 teachers and instructional coaches working in public elementary schools across DCPS and DC public charter schools. 
  • Recommendation 3: To provide on-the-job support to educators working in public elementary schools, the Task Force recommends that OSSE develop a walkthrough, structured literacy tool and pilot direct coaching support. 
  • Recommendation 4: The Task Force recommends that OSSE collect and publish the ELA instructional materials LEAs are using in DC’s schools and create and publish a list of high-quality instructional materials rooted in the science of reading. 

Live Panel Discussion

OSSE hosted a moderated in-person live discussion highlighting the recommendations of the report. View the recording below.

*This recommendation intends to improve instruction across tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 instruction. Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 instruction refers to the instructional practices and interventions implemented in a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). Tier 1 refers to general classroom instruction, Tier 2 refers to targeted small group instruction, and Tier 3 refers to intensive, individualized intervention (National Center on Intensive Intervention). 

**LEAs with departmentalized K-5 teachers exclusively teaching subjects other than English, English Language Arts (ELA), humanities, reading or an equivalent subject may request a limited waiver of this requirement for those specific K-5 teachers who are responsible for instruction in subject areas other than literacy. 

For questions, please contact [email protected].