These Schools May Hold the Secret to Boosting Literacy Rates Among Latinos
Low reading scores are a pervasive problem among Latino students in California, particularly those from low-income households. But a new report highlights impressive gains in schools that follow the “science of reading” and make literacy a top priority.
The California Reading Coalition examined literacy rates among low-income Latinos at hundreds of schools with large numbers of Latino students.
The organization ranked 285 districts based on Smarter Balance test scores. The Bonita Unified School District in Los Angeles and the Etiwanda Elementary School District in San Bernardino took the top scores for reading and writing proficiency among low-income Latinos in the third grade.
Bonita Unified has been using the Systemic Instruction in Phonemic Awareness, Phonics and Sight Words (SIPPS) curriculum for reading instruction since the early 2000s, according to EdSource. Etiwanda Unified uses the programs Wonders and Project Read.
Between 2012 and 2019, a total of six districts increased the number of low-income Latino students who can read and write at grade level: Newark Unified in the Bay Area, Hanford Elementary and Burton Elementary in the Central Valley, Victor Elementary in San Bernardino, and Evergreen Elementary in San Jose.
Literacy is an even greater struggle for districts with a high percentage of low-income Latino students for whom English is a second language. But there were bright spots here too. Conejo Valley Unified in Ventura County and Gonzales Unified in Monterey County have a 30% English language arts proficiency rate among low-income Latino students, despite very high rates of English learners.
Read more about the findings here.