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Abstract

Educational policies designed to promote literacy achievement in U.S. schools over the past decade have failed to deliver the anticipated outcomes. These disappointing outcomes can be attributed to the implementation of evidence-free policies. In particular, policymakers have ignored the fact that underachievement is concentrated in schools serving low-income and racially/culturally marginalized students, many of whom are also English learners (EL). The research evidence implies that policies designed to ensure that low-income and EL students have access to a rich print environment and become actively engaged with literacy are more likely to close the achievement gap than current policies which fail to address these issues.