Improving K–12 Language and Literacy Development

State Plan


In Year 6, the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center (GLCC) and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) worked intensively with the state literacy team, consisting of stakeholders across Grades K–12. This team generated a set of priorities for literacy and language development in Ohio, including developing early learning and middle and high school frameworks, and aligning state, regional, and local literacy efforts.

In Year 7, GLCC will collaborate with ODE to address three areas of the state literacy plan: (1) increase capacity of the 16 state support teams, 18 regional early literacy specialists, and train English learner (EL) coordinators to establish and support a functioning statewide literacy network; (2) implement evidence-based practices using instructional coaching; and (3) develop communication and training for the literacy network that helps to build a common belief that all students have the capacity to improve literacy and language development. To achieve those goals, GLCC will serve on the state infrastructure planning team that focuses on alignment of initiatives internally and externally and that builds regional capacity to support district implementation of evidence-based language and literacy instruction. GLCC will work with ODE in establishing the direction and content for monthly state literacy network meetings and will provide continued coaching training for regional early literacy specialists to support implementation of evidence-based practices at the district and school levels. GLCC will continue to serve on the State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) leadership team and to work with the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and the Lau Center to provide technical assistance to those SPDG districts with high EL populations. Through this work, ODE is seeking improvement in the number of students who meet or exceed proficiency levels on state reading and language arts assessments by Grade 5 and eventually increased literacy achievement of Grades K–12 students, especially lower performing subgroups.


Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement provides literacy achievement data across the Grades K–12 continuum that reveals the following: Nearly 38% of kindergarten students are not on track in language and literacy; Deep inequities among subgroups exist across all grade bands in terms of literacy and language achievement; State assessments show that between 32 and 40% of students in Grades 3–7 are not scoring proficient in English language arts; National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) data show literacy deficiency in more than 60% of students in Grades 4–8; Fifty four percent of graduating seniors taking the ACT test do not meet the college-readiness benchmark for reading.

As noted in Ohio’ plan, “The above data reveals the need for Ohio to build the capacity to support evidence-based language and literacy instruction and intervention…to improve outcomes for all learners with a focus on Ohio’s most disadvantaged learners, including those who are economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, homeless students, and students who are English learners.” Kindergarten students who begin behind in language and literacy development, compared with peers, generally remain behind throughout their Grades K–12 experience (ODE, 2018). Implications of reading difficulties are associated with higher rates of dropping out, decreased rates of postsecondary education, and lower levels of income later in life (Hernandez, 2012; McLaughlin et al., 2014).


Milestone 1. Functioning state literacy network—that supports the Grades K–12 continuum and a commitment to equity through the State Systemic Improvement Plan, State Personnel Development Grant, and Striving Readers grant—established through at least three training sessions and through communication. (11/15/18)

Milestone 2. Bimonthly coaching and training sessions for EL regional staff, who provide coaching to districts and schools regarding evidence-based practices to support improved outcomes for EL students. (02/01/19)

Milestone 3. An evidence-based clearinghouse supported by content expertise and guidance developed. (03/01/19)

Milestone 4. Monthly systems coaching for administrators and instructional coaching for teachers provided through the state literacy network. (05/30/19)

Expected Capacity Building Outcomes

Primary: Improved knowledge and skills
Secondary: Improved materials and assets

Expected Outcomes

  • The state literacy network has increased knowledge and skills to provide both systems coaching for district and building leadership and instructional coaching for internal district coaches, as measured by the Reading Tiered Fidelity Inventory and by coaching logs.
  • ODE and the state literacy network has increased knowledge, skills, and resources to provide direct support to districts and schools as they use the OIP and its leadership structures to apply data-driven planning to support systemic implementation of evidence-based language and literacy instruction and interventions as measured by the Reading Tiered Fidelity Inventory.
  • ODE and the state literacy network have increased knowledge, skills, and resources to build the capacity of districts to demonstrate increased implementation of differentiated evidence-based language and literacy instruction for all students as measured by the Reading Tiered Fidelity Inventory and by annual surveys.

Expected Outputs

  • Monthly coaching sessions for state support teams, regional early literacy specialists, and EL coordinators
  • Evidence-based clearinghouse for language and literacy instruction and interventions
  • Bimonthly training sessions for EL regional staff
  • At least three communication and training sessions for the state literacy network