gap between the knowledge base on the contributors to success in early reading and the knowledge base on effective instruction and teacher knowledge requirements. The goal must be to move from principles of good literacy instruction to the practices and programs that will support it. We propose three initiatives for early reading:

  1. development and testing of instructional approaches to narrowing the gap in early reading preparedness, with emphasis on programs to enrich oral language skills for children at ages 3, 4, and 5 and for native and nonnative English speakers;

  2. the development and testing of models of integrated reading instruction for early elementary grades; and

  3. research on the knowledge requirements for teachers of early reading, coupled with the development and evaluation of teacher education programs and tools and the development and validity testing of assessment measures to evaluate their effectiveness.


Many students who learn to read successfully nonetheless do poorly at reading comprehension. There is remarkably little instruction to support reading comprehension in schools, perhaps because there is little science-based understanding of how comprehension builds or how to support its development over the years.

We propose four initiatives for reading comprehension:

  1. research and development of formative and summative assessments of reading comprehension that capture the multiple components of effective comprehension and that span the school years;

  2. research and development of instructional materials, protocols, and supports at different grade levels for teachers who are learning to use metacognitive strategy instruction in the classroom;

  3. research on the instructional practices of teachers whose students “beat the odds” in their reading comprehension performance, with companion efforts to test the emerging hypotheses and incorporate tested

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