Announcing our Newest Inclusive R&D Program:  Reading Reimagined

Reading Reimagined

We aim to unlock the great reader in every child. Specifically, our program will focus on increasing reading fluency and comprehension for all students, particularly Black, Latino, and Native American children and those experiencing poverty.

Program Description

Every student is capable of reading challenging books, and every school should place students on that path. Today only one-third of American children read at grade level. The American education system is failing two-thirds of students. Even more, as students progress through school, the system does worse. This is especially striking for Black, Latino, and Native American students and those experiencing poverty. Only 1 in 7 Black students and 1 in 5 Hispanic and Native American students read at grade level in 8th grade, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Despite significant effort and resources over the last decade, literacy rates have not improved; in fact they have declined. It’s time for a new approach.

Reading Reimagined will engage in design efforts grounded in the lived experiences of the students and educators. We will do this in part by examining how all elements of reading instruction and social development must interact to support students to reach their full potential as readers. This commitment begins with the creation of an Educator Advisory Council. As a vital advisory body, this Council will partner with the Reading Reimagined team at each stage. Together, we will design and learn from research and development projects. . This commitment will continue with school communities, who can sign up to collaborate on this work with researchers and product developers in fall 2022.

In addition to leveraging reading research and practices that currently exist, Reading Reimagined will target its Inclusive R&D on three core areas that impact student reading, but which lack deep research-based approaches to instruction. The learning in these efforts will be made widely available and integrated into practical, coordinated tools and products: 

  • Cultural identity and self-efficacy — What elements of student identity and self-efficacy most influence a reader’s success? What instructional strategies must be present to ensure a successful experience for Black, Latino, and Native American students and those experiencing poverty? 
  • Building knowledge in service of reading comprehension — How do we best build a diverse set of knowledge that contributes to a student’s reading success? When students encounter a book that they do not have knowledge for, what are the most meaningful ways to unlock comprehension?  
  • Foundational skills with fourth through eighth graders — What is the most efficient approach for teaching older learners who have not yet mastered their foundational reading skills? How can we do this in a way that honors their identity, dialect, and intellect while building their skill and confidence as capable readers? 

Leadership & Partnerships

Reading Reimagined’s Advisory Council consists of national leaders representing practitioners, researchers, and product experts who share the program’s belief that every student is capable of being a great reader when given access to adequate resources and instruction. The Advisory Council will help build and hold the standard for evidenced-based innovation projects and influence Reading Reimagined’s processes, goals, investment decisions, and overall outcomes during the program’s lifecycle.

  • Kwasi Asare: Director of Channel Marketing, DigitalOcean
  • Janice Jackson: Chief Executive Officer, HOPE Chicago, former Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Public Schools
  • Ginny Lee: Former President and COO, Khan Academy
  • Sue Pimentel: Founding Partner, StandardsWork and Student Achievement Partners
  • Shalinee Sharma: Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Zearn Math
  • Robert Sheffield: President, Consortium on Reaching Excellence in Education 
  • Dr. Julie Washington: Professor of Language and Literacy, University of California, Irvine 
  • Joanne Weiss: President, Weiss Associates, Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Education
  • Dr. Carey Wright: Mississippi State Secretary of Education

Learn more about and apply to our Educator Advisory Council here.