Decoding Oregon’s Literacy Crisis—Why Reading Matters and What Solutions Work

Issue Brief

Our Children Oregon is excited to release our latest issue brief: Decoding Oregon’s Literacy Crisis—Why Reading Matters and What Solutions Work, prepared with leadership from OCO’s Reseach Manager Jyoni Tetsurō Shuler, in collaboration with literacy advocates from Decoding Dyslexia Oregon.  

While literacy is a foundational skill for children to succeed in school and beyond, less than half of Oregonian 3rd graders are proficient at reading, with notable disparities among the state’s BIPOC and rural communities. At the national and state level, the gaps between students of color and their white peers are greater than before 2020. In alignment with OCO’s value of racial equity and our commitment to the framework of targeted universalism, this brief highlights the many facets of Oregon’s ongoing literacy crisis and elevates solutions for our children. Topics featured include the trends of Oregon’s historically low literacy rates, pandemic-related impacts on reading, the importance of the Science of Reading (SoR) and empirically-supported teacher training, and policy recommendations to improve reading outcomes for our children and youth statewide.