News Update

LA Unified to expand Primary Promise, the district’s early literacy program

A literacy program, Primary Promise, launched by Los Angeles Unified last year will be expanded after a high percentage of students in the initiative began reading at or above their grade level within months of its launch, according to district Superintendent Austin Beutner.

The expansion will occur at the beginning of the upcoming school year to include 14,000 students from 453 Title 1 schools, which are campuses where a high number of students live with families who are low-income. It will be the second expansion in a year: the program was expanded this semester to include 6,700 students attending 225 schools.

Primary Promise began last August for students in grades K-3 who were not meeting early literacy standards. Teachers and instructional coaches began working directly with 2,500 students who were having a difficult time reading, providing each student with an individual reading plan.

According to Beutner, one group of 450 students currently enrolled in the program saw a significant increase in meeting their grade-level reading standards, jumping from 9% at the beginning of the school year to 37% by February.

You often hear the phrase “‘meet the unique needs of each child’ in education circles. This is what it looks like in action,” Beutner said in a weekly Monday morning broadcast. Students in the Primary Promise program who were well behind in reading when the school year started have already caught up with their peers in less than half a year with this focused help.