Early Literacy

Early Literacy Case Studies

The Arizona Department of Education and Read On Arizona partnered to conduct case studies on four diverse schools in the state that demonstrated excellent academic gains on their 3rd grade reading scores. The case studies can be found here: http://readonarizona.org/case-studies/.

Move on When Reading

Arizona's Move on When Reading law was first enacted in 2010 and implemented in 2013.  The purpose of the legislation is to identify struggling readers and to provide them with specific, targeted interventions so that the are reading at or above grade level by the end of the 3rd grade.

A student may not be promoted from the third grade if the student fails to demonstrate sufficient reading skills on the statewide assessment as determined by the Board. 

School districts and charter schools which serve any K-3 grades are required to annually submit, by October 1, a reading plan to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). Statute further requires school districts and charter schools which either received C/D/F letter grades or had more than 10% of their 3rd grade students fail to demonstrate sufficient reading skills on the statewide reading assessment to have their reading plans reviewed and recommended for approval by ADE and approved by the Board before the ADE School Finance Division releases Reading Base Support allowed under ARS §15-943. School districts and charter schools with grades A/B shall submit their reading plans on odd-numbered years only beginning in FY2017. The Legislature appropriated approximately $40 million to the K-3 reading program annually.  For more information, visit ADE’s website at: http://www.azed.gov/mowr/.

The Board issued a review of the Move on when Reading Program and recommendations in December 2021.

Move on When Reading Review and Recommendations


The law requires school districts and charter schools to offer 3rd grade students who score below the Board established cut score on the statewide assessment more than one of the intervention and remediation strategies listed in statute which are as follows:

  1. The student is assigned to a different teacher for reading instruction;
  2. The student participates in summer school reading instruction;
  3. The student participates in intensive reading instruction before, during, or after the regular school day; or,
  4. The student participates in small group and teacher-led evidence-based reading instruction which may include computer-based instruction or online reading instruction.

A student in grade 3 who does not meet or exceed the reading standards as measured by the statewide reading assessment pursuant to A.R.S. § 15-741 shall be provided intensive reading instruction until the student meets these standards. 


There are three ways for a student to be exempted from the retention requirement.  They are as follows:

  1. The student is an English Language Learner (ELL) who has received less than two years of English instruction;
  2. The student has a disability and their Individual Education Plan (IEP) team agrees promotion is appropriate or the student is in the process of being evaluated for an IEP;
  3. The student has been diagnosed with a significant reading impairment, including dyslexia; or
  4. The student demonstrated or subsequently demonstrated sufficient reading skills or adequate progress towards sufficient reading skills, as evidenced by a collection of reading assessments. The assessment used for this exemption must be either an assessment approved by the Board or an assessment that meets the criteria approved by the Board (see attachments below); or
  5. The student receives intervention and remedial services during the summer or subsequent school year and demonstrates sufficient progress.


Move on When Reading Collection of Assessments 

Overview Document Overview Video

New MOWR Exemption - Assessment Criteria

List of Approved Products for New MOWR Exemption 2017-2018