One-to-One Reading Improvement Act Exposed

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The One-to-One Reading Improvement Act was adopted by ALEC's Education Task Force at the Annual Meeting on August 8, 2002, approved by the full ALEC Board of Directors in September, 2002. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

ALEC Bill Text


This Act creates mentoring programs for the improvement of student reading skills that utilizes one-to-one instruction between low-performing students and mentoring volunteers.

Model Bill

Section 1. {Short Title}

This Act shall be known as the one-to-one Reading Improvement Act.

Section 2. {Findings}

The legislature finds and declares that:

(A) The master of basic reading skills is one of the most fundamental important building blocks for a child’s success in school.

(B) Proven, structured mentoring programs in reading are effective strategies for accelerating learning; measuring growth against state standards; serving students to scale (critical mass); reducing special education referrals; improving student attendance; and reducing the costs of instruction while increasing student performance.

(C) Proven, structured mentoring programs are also effective strategies for promoting safer schools by reducing student violence, drug use, and gang involvement.

Section 3. {Mentoring Program}

(A) A minimum of 60 students or 27% of the low-performing students (K-6) per school, whichever is greater, shall be tutored a minimum of two hours of one-to-one instruction per week. Priority will be given to learning systems in reading that have been recognized by the Education Commission of the States and the U.S. Department of Justice as promising education practices for accelerating student reading achievement and promoting safe schools. Special consideration will be provided to learning systems that are research-based, easily replicated, serve large numbers of students cost-effectively, and have a proven track record (in a minimum of 500 schools nationally), and provide strong staff development and evaluation components. Such programs shall utilize technology to electronically align the schools’ learning resources to state standards, generate individualized prescriptions, and monitor students’ performance on a continuous basis.

(B) Schools may implement these proven, research-based learning systems during the regular school days, before and after school, as well as on Saturdays, summers, intersession, and other vacation days. Funds can not be used for personnel, and districts or schools receiving these funds must provide matching funds. The local match may be satisfied through in-kind contributions, such as teachers, paraprofessionals, and mentors. The programs shall be managed by certificated staff.

Section 4. {Reporting}

Beginning, interim, and end-of-program testing data and cost per unit of student gain will be required to determine the effectiveness of funded programs The results of the evaluation will be furnished to the Governor, State Superintendent of Education, school districts and the legislature.

Section 5. {Appropriation}

{enter dollar amount} shall be allocated for school-based grants ($65,000 per school) to implement proven, research-based, structured mentoring programs in reading.

Section 6. {Severability clause}

Section 7. {Repealer clause}

Section 8. {Effective Date}

Adopted by ALEC's Education Task Force at the Annual Meeting August 8, 2002.

Approved by full ALEC Board of Directors September, 2002.