Statewide Survey Reveals Broad Support for Training Educators in Teaching Reading Effectively

May 19, 2024

State Strategies

Results from a new statewide survey demonstrate overwhelming support among likely voters across all political parties for tangible actions to ensure a quality education for every child in Arizona, including 94% in support of “ensuring teachers are trained in the most effective approaches to teaching reading.”

Building educator capacity in the science of reading is one of Read On Arizona’s four strategic priorities for accelerating progress in early literacy and third grade reading in our state.

Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) released its education findings from the newly-launched 2024 Arizona Voters’ Agenda, which identifies what likely voters agree on and prioritize. Widespread agreement for supporting Arizona educators in teaching reading effectively included 93% of Republicans, 91% of independent/unaffiliated voters, and 96% of Democrats.

Decades of scientific research have provided a clear understanding of how skilled reading develops and how to structure literacy instruction to support children, including struggling readers, in learning to read proficiently. More than just phonics and decoding, structured literacy instruction based in the science of reading also develops foundational skills like reading comprehension, vocabulary, and background knowledge that must be woven together so that children can make meaning from the words they read.

Arizona has made a concerted effort to empower educators with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful, including high-quality professional development and literacy coaching based in the science of reading. Continuing to support our in-service teachers, early childhood educators, and those in teacher prep programs is critical improving third grade reading proficiency in Arizona. Student outcomes improve when teachers are supported with comprehensive training and coaching on the most effective approaches to reading instruction.

The new survey results highlight education as an essential priority for voters and reveal overwhelming support for actions to enhance overall educational quality in Arizona.

“The purpose of the Arizona Voters’ Agenda is to ensure that candidates running for office and the media are focused on the issues that matter most to voters and that these are not lost in the fray of hot-button topics that get outsized attention because they resonate strongly among partisan groups," said Dr. Sybil Francis, Chair, President & CEO of CFA.

Center for the Future of Arizona is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that listens to Arizonans to learn what matters most to them, shares trusted data about how Arizona is doing in those priority areas, brings critical issues to public attention, and works with communities and leaders to solve public problems.

Learn more about the Arizona Voters’ Agenda and the survey results at