New Data Shows Science of Reading Works

Senator Berger Press Shop
2 min readDec 8, 2023

FLASHBACK: Gov. Cooper put politics ahead of students by vetoing earlier version of the program

K-3 students in NC are making gains in reading proficiency, outpacing the nation

Raleigh, N.C. — New data from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction shows science of reading legislation championed by Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) is paying off.

According to DPI, since the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021 was signed into law, “North Carolina’s first, second and third graders have made gains that are more than double those seen on the national level” and “kindergarteners have shown greater improvement than their peers across the country, with a growth rate of 6% versus 4% on the national level.”

DPI leadership and teachers attribute the success to implementation of programs based on the science of reading. North Carolina was primed to enact science of reading legislation four years ago through the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019 — a top priority for Sen. Berger. The legislation received strong bipartisan support, yet Gov. Roy Cooper brazenly put politics ahead of students when he vetoed the legislation.

The Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021 was enacted two years later.

The governor’s veto held students back and delayed implementation of a proven literacy program by years.

“I’m encouraged by the gains in reading proficiency we’re seeing from our youngest students. Reading is fundamental for students to succeed in school and later in life, and making sure students can read at grade level will continue to be a priority when working on education policy,” Sen. Berger said. “It’s unconscionable that we had to wait to implement such a transformational program.”



Senator Berger Press Shop

Press releases from N.C. Senate Republicans and Senate Leader Phil Berger